We just want to say a truly MASSIVE thank you to all of your team for the most amazing birthday party yesterday for Rosie. She and her three friends had the time of their lives, and we are so grateful. You took such great care of us and we felt so special - Rosie was stunned when her name was first mentioned, and just delighted throughout the day when she was made to feel so important. Holding "Troy" was an incredible experience for us all (me included!) and we have some wonderful photos as a lasting memory of it. The genuine passion for the place and love for the birds that is so evident in all of your team there made it a really meaningful experience too - you can see so clearly how dedicated you all are and that is such a fantastic quality in a place like yours.
We were thoroughly spoilt (so I wanted to apologise for my daughter's friend who said to the lady on the desk that we had not been spoilt!!!!! Think she misunderstood - as she later told me she had had the best day of her life!!!) and had a truly memorable and wonderful day.
Helen and Rosie
Thank you very much to all involved in organising Angus's party today. We were extremely impressed with the organisation, personal contact, communication and the wonderful day we had. We thoroughly enjoyed the owl experience. Ryan the falconer was brilliant with the children, his positive, calm approach mixed with the right amount and level of information was tops. We all enjoyed the delightful show put on and then an exciting bouncy tractor ride around the spring meadow. Angus felt very special throughout the day - the duck race was a highlight too!
To finish the day we were treated to a delicious, freshly made lunch in your wonderful new cafe. We have all agreed there could be nothing better to celebrate a birthday than a trip to the Hawk Conservancy.
Thank you for making my son's birthday party so special. Everything about the visit was fantastic. The party group made us feel most welcome, the bird handlers were fantastic and the food was superb.
Thank you everyone at the Trust for making Jack's birthday party so enjoyable. You make the day so interesting for the children, and it is clear that everyone takes great pleasure in sharing their enthusiasm for the work you do and the birds you have. Nothing was too much trouble. The ladies in Duffy's were more than happy to help to accommodate some of the more fussy eaters, which we really appreciated.
Alastair & Jayne Moffat
Just wanted to let you know what a fantastic day we had with you. All the children were buzzing with excitement during the day and the response I had from their mums was that they spent all evening telling their parents all about the experience too. The whole day was absolutely fantastic, you are all without exception passionate about the Trust and your enthusiasm was infectious
the House family, Basingstoke
Just to say a big thank you for the wonderful time the children and their combined mums and dads had today. There were three very tired kids tonight. We were bowled over by the total professionalism, ability and knowledge of our hosts and the other keepers today. The kitchens provided a wonderful meal that went down extremely well (and trust me its hard to impress a chef but you did)
Jane Louise Bassett
I am just writing to say how much we enjoyed our day on Saturday [anniversary meal]. Everything happened exactly as we had hoped. The food was delicious, the service was excellent and all our guests had a lovely day.
Please pass on our thanks to Jemma, Hayley and their helpers, who obviously worked very hard.
Caroline & Richard Unwin
My wife and I decided to invite family and friends to her fiftieth birthday lunch at the local Hawk Conservancy in Amport. It proved to be a most welcoming and excellent venue, in terms of catering and owl and hawk displays, for the smallest baby to the nonagenarian present, and all decades represented in between.
Rev Ian Tomlinson
Hilary and I would like to offer you our warmest and most sincere thanks for the wonderful day you arranged for us on Sunday 7th July 2013 in the grounds and especially the Eyrie Room. The continuous supply of tea, coffee and cold drinks you provided were very welcome especially in view of the perfect weather conditions we had for the occasion. The lunch you provided at exactly the right moment was of a really high standard both in quality and quantity and your staff in attendance were both polite and helpful which all went to make the day extremely successful. Our thirty six guests all made comments at the end of the day of the suitability of the venue for such an occasion and how much they had enjoyed the day, which offered them so much in the way of hospitality and entertainment.
Once again, thank you to you and all of your staff for making the day an occasion we will never forget.
Pete and Hilary Wells
We would like to thank you and all the staff involved with our Golden Wedding Party last Saturday. Thanks to your dedication and attention we enjoyed a happy, relaxed and entertaining afternoon and our guests had nothing but praise for you all.
I can do no better than quote from some of their thank you letters: "the meal was delicious and staff so attentive and caring", "The venue was an inspired choice and the guys at the Trust did a great job with the food, facilities and bird handling", "It was a lovely idea to have a party there, the food drinks were very nice and so generous."
Once again thank you for a wonderful team, you all make a great team.
A G Staniforth, May 2012
Just a quick thank you for my very successful birthday party. I have had 100% positive feedback from my guests including the following comments:
?the venue is fantastic, very informative and the food was lovely?
?I think that it is the best bird of prey centre I have ever been to, also the food was delicious?
?the Trust is an exceptional place with such care taken of the birds environment, I have never seen such awesome displays?
"The staff were some of the most knowledgeable and enthusiastic I have ever encountered?
I could go on, but thank you for making my day so memorable
Saturday night was a triumph! Thank you very much indeed for all your hard work and all the trouble you took to make my birthday celebrations so memorable. I know only too well just how much work goes into these events and we are just very grateful.
Jemma, Hayley the her team were really excellent ? please pass on our thanks to them all. We have already had many compliments on the quality of the catering ? both the actual food, the presentation and the serving of it.
The display was quite wonderful. I knew it would be, but it was even better than I had expected. Again, please pass on our thanks to all concerned.
Everyone has been most complimentary about every aspect of the evening. I hope it may have encouraged people to come and visit you.
Very well done and very many thanks,
Charles and Helen
Just wanted to say thank you again for our wonderful Christmas "do" on Friday evening. The whole thing was just great. Sorry we couldn't do justice to your lovely desserts, but we were just too full up!
Please say a big thank you from us to Gary, Hayley (& whoever else was hard at work in the kitchen), not forgetting of course Mulberry & Sweeny!!
Vicky & the people from Batemans
I just wanted to pass over the team?s thanks for facilitating a very productive day for us.
We are all agreed that you offer a great venue for an offsite meeting, the room and food were perfect & we got the added bonus of some spectacular flying displays.
Matthew Thomas, Vodaphone
I just wanted to drop you a quick email to thank you for the wonderful day we had on Sunday! Your arrangements were perfect, the weather was perfect and your staff were so helpful in accommodating us throughout the day. All our guests had a marvellous time.
The flying displays and venue itself was outstanding, I would not hesitate to recommend this to others. Some of us are budding photographers and got some great shots of the birds, a real talking point for days to come.
So please pass on our thanks to your team, what a great job they all do.
Suzanne, Thinking Space Systems Ltd
I would like to feedback to you what a lovely day we had at the Hawk Conservancy on 12th June. Everyone loved the morning's activities and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
Please pass on our thanks to the falconers, chef (for lunch!) and anyone else who helped make our day enjoyable.
I am sure we will all be visiting with families and friends in the near future.
Gemma Lane, RLHA Group
Thank you for a fabulous day on Saturday. The food was truly superb (I could live on those mini Yorkshire puds!) and all the waitresses were excellent. Everyone really enjoyed the venue and the Hawk Conservancy. You, and everyone we encountered during the day, were brilliant and so incredibly helpful. You all really exceeded my expectations. I shall definitely be recommending the Hawk Conservancy to lots of people as a unique, interesting and first class venue for all sorts of events.
Many thanks for helping make my event a great success.
I thought you might like to see some of the quotes I have had so far:
"I thought it was a great venue, and the flying displays were magical. It was also very interesting to talk to the staff and the handlers, and to look at all the other birds that they use at other times. A definite revisit."
"Thank you for a most enjoyable afternoon at the Hawk Conservation Trust. We were really very lucky that the weather held off enough that the demonstrations could take place and very interesting they were too. It was a very nice place to have a party as we were so central to the action yet separated from the rest of the people coming for the afternoon. The buffet food was delicious also."
"The venue was inspired. We both thought the food and the service provided by the staff there were all absolutely first rate. It was a thoroughly splendid day!"
I shall definitely be recommending the Hawk Conservancy to lots of people as a unique, interesting and first class venue for all sorts of events.
Many thanks for helping make my event a great success.
Sarah Dowding Classic Travelling Ltd
What a fantastic day you provided for us yesterday. It certainly was an experience. I lost count of the number of birds I got to handle and our guests were all completely spellbound.
A huge thank you to everyone at the Hawk Conservancy Trust for making the day so special and successful.
Guy Hurst, Adams & Remers LLP
We all had a fantastic day with you and were so very well looked after ? please pass on our thanks to all of your team. I think there may even have been a few sceptics in the group who didn?t expect to enjoy it quite so much!
Georgie Hopkins, Myakka
Just a quick not to express our thanks for last nights flying extravaganza. It was a fantastically enjoyable, well organized evening that had our employees buzzing on the way home. the knowledge and dedication of your team shone through their presentations and their genuine love for the birds shone through. My 15 year old daughter who, true to character, never gets enthused about anything, could not stop talking about how close the birds came to us and how beautiful they were. Thank you again, we had a wonderful time.
Sue Page, Newbury Town Council
After the success of last years conference we had a challenge to make this years event even better, and I am delighted that so far all the feedback suggests we did. The group that visited you told me that it was informative, fun and amazing - despite the cold! A chance in a lifetime for many. Thank you to everyone at the Trust for making our 2009 conference such a great success.
Louise Portnall, le Creuset
Please thank everyone at the Trust for making us so welcome on our Team Away day at the Trust. The arrangements, service, food and accommodation were all first class and allowing each of us to have close contact with one of your hawks made the day more memorable. I would certainly recommend your facilities to my colleagues.
Brian Nicholls, Test Valley Borough Council
May I take this opportunity to thank everyone at the Trust for providing us with an entertaining and educational afternoon. Their enthusiasm and knowledge of the birds was incredible, and left us all wanting to know more and more. It's just a shame that our time ran out as we were enjoying not only their company, but the birds they kept bringing out to show us. We were never sure what to expect at the Trust, and were pleasantly surprised with all the afternoon's event especially the actual handling of the birds. We were all in agreement that this was the highlight of the day, but the flying display did leave us gob smacked. The hospitality and the venue of the Trust was very outstanding, everyone greeted us and made sure that our stay was comfortable and welcoming. I would recommend the Trust to anyone, and many of us are thinking of returning in the near future.
Mr Mendez and team, Friends Provident
We had an amazing time, it is so hard to find something that a relatively large number of very different people will enjoy, but I think that we did. I have had some great feedback from everyone that went, your team were helpful, knowledgeable and enthusiastic and patient with all our daft questions, which they must get asked on a daily basis. Please pass on my thanks to the whole team without exception, who made us feel very welcome and gave us an afternoon to remember.
Tamsyn Gooyer, Strutt & Parker
Basically, we had a ball! All the suppliers who attended were knocked out by the surroundings and I feel sure that you will get more business from them hiring the conference centre.
All our staff (the ones who hadn't been before) were enthralled and can't wait for the corporate day in June. We have had a lot of e-mails from customers as well, saying how much they enjoyed the day and the venue. All in all, a great PR exercise, and we did some business as well. Everyone has commented on how friendly, helpful and co-operative your staff were, so please pass on my thanks to each and every one of them - it is most appreciated.
Tom Dingwall, T4 Cameras
I would just like to thank you all for making us so welcome and enabling us to have a very productive day with you formalising our Service Users Forum. Our service users had a fantastic day and thoroughly enjoyed all the feeding and flying displays. From my point of view I have to say that your staff are very helpful and friendly. Your Griffon rooms are lovely and so well placed to watch all the flying. Everyone enjoyed the lunch you provided for us and there was certainly plenty of it.
Many thanks again and we will certainly consider the Hawk Conservancy again for any away days we are planning.
Tracey Carus, Manager, Andover Day Services
Please share this email with your staff...
I visited with my two children (from Epsom) and parents (Salisbury)
We arrived to a warm welcome and found all of your staff polite and helpful. Those on display duties were highly entertaining, knowledgeable and skilled, showing the birds off at their absolute best.
The birds themselves are breathtaking! To be that close to them was wonderful and I hope the experience will stay with my children for a long time. Who knows, future Falconers/conservationists in the making...?!
Congratulations on a job thoroughly well done! We will sing your praises and definitely visit again...
Amy Abram, Max, Chloe, Grandma and Grandad
I just wanted to say a massive 'Thank You' to you all for the amazing and unforgettable day out that my husband and I had at your centre last Thursday 18th October 2012. We have visited several Birds of Prey centres all over the country but have never experienced a day like we had last week.
The bird trainers are incredible - so knowledgeable (as well as funny!) and the displays were absolutely amazing as well as informative and varied.
I have never seen so many different birds in action and many of them were species that I had not seen before. The Secretary Bird was hilarious and the Burrowing Owl was just so cute! The Woodland Arena used for the Hawks and Owls was such a perfect setting and I just love the way that you have built such a perfect arena that feels like you are sitting in the middle of a clearing in the woods.
The 2pm show took my breath away and I was close to tears at the beauty of the vulture and black kites in flight. I have never seen so many birds in flight at one time! I was in awe to see the African Fish Eagle in action but could not believe my luck when we were told that the American Bald Eagle was being flown as part of the display. I had goosebumps when I saw beautiful Cheyenne coming in from so far away - I have never seen an eagle up so close and it was the most incredible sight to witness when she swooped down out of the sky. I wouldn't have believed that a Bird of Prey display could conjure up such emotions in me, but the expertise of your wonderful staff and the passion they all show for what they do shines through, providing a memorable day and making the spectators feel that they are witnessing something truly special.
The whole centre is just incredible and we cannot wait to visit again next year, hopefully when the meadow is in bloom!
The food in Feathers Restaurant was also excellent and very good value. The pea and ham soup was delicious!
Thank you again and we look forward to visiting soon.
I felt the need to write to you following my first visit to the Trust last Sunday.
I have a rapidly growing interest in Birds of Prey and am also a keen Amateur Photographer, so as you can imagine I was looking forward to the visit enormously.
Put simply, a visit to your Trust is not 'a nice day out'; it's a life experience. It was absolutely fantastic and I loved every minute of it. Your set-up and organisation is superb and you should be proud of what you are doing; both for the wildlife and your guests.
I spent the day completely humbled by the animals (and also got some excellent pictures) and cannot wait to visit again.
In fact, I was so impressed that I will now be looking into Volunteering in some capacity in the future if at all possible.
Congratulations all-round and keep up the good work.
Many thanks for a superb day.
With regard to our visit last Saturday with friends from Oxford I just wanted to say how impressed we all were with absolutely every aspect of our visit.
The displays were so enlightening and presented with real passion, it was infectious!
The restaurant is also a credit to those who work in it. The meals are amazingly good value, well presented and delicious.
Thank you again for a fantastic day out. We will return!!
Glenys and Terry Waite
We recently joined as members and had our second trip to you today, another great day thank you. Keep up all the good work that you do, I have attached a photo taken today when Gary was being dived on by the black kites.
Jason Gibbs,Country Estates
Just to let you know we really enjoyed our visit to you this week. It was the last day of the school holidays and my sons 14th birthday.
The birds and owls all looked very content and clean. The keepers were very knowledgable and were excellent at speaking to us when doing the displays.
We bought one of the shopmobility owls and he sits on the settee as a lovely reminder of our day with you.
The boys who are 13 and 14 even enjoyed collecting their stamps on their visitor passport.
Just to say we had a fantastic time yesterday at the Trust. My wife and I first visited 10 years ago on my 40th birthday ? so we were back for my 50th, having made countless visits in the meantime along with our children.
The displays were all great. We liked the ?new style? Birds of Prey of the World display, with more than one species from a particular region flying together. And the Valley of the Eagles opening section, bringing the meadow alive with people, was absolutely amazing. Seeing the Barn Owl appear, and quarter the meadow to the sound of Vaughan Williams was a memorable and moving moment. We definitely prefer this to the ?mounted? displays last summer... If you?re looking for volunteers to take part, let us know!
It is always fun, as regulars, to overhear what other visitors are saying about their day, and yesterday certainly had a real ?buzz?.
Thanks for all your hard work in making every visit different and memorable.
I am writing to say a very big thank you to all of you for the lovely day out we had last weekend when we visited the Hawk Conservancy for our third time.
On arrival we found your reception staff to be exceptionally friendly, welcoming and helpful. At the events and displays we think your staff have the right balance of information, skill, humour and enthusiasm. Catering staff also displayed a rare friendly and caring atmosphere. The main Valley of the Eagles flying demonstration was truly superb, even emotional and of course, all the birds are very special.
We have recommended both visiting and the various 'experiences' to many of our family and friends and will continue to visit as often as we can, especially to support your valuable conservation and research work.
I really would like to congratulate you all on the lovely atmosphere you have created at the Conservancy - it really does have a lovely 'family' feel to visit. A very special day out. Many, many thanks
Jean and John, Southampton
Just a quick email to say my family of 5 boys! Age 7,8,9, 11 & 11! My husband and I visited the hawk conservatory yesterday!
Absolutely wonderful! We thought it was amazing! Staff all superb! Grounds simply beautiful! Birds amazing! Stamp finding game fun! And displays out of this world! The commentary too was just great! Restaurant lovely and reasonable too! Toilets nice & clean and airy!
Well worth every penny! And we will be telling all our friends too!
Thank you so much for a very memorable day!
As requested! We "liked you" on face book too!!!
I had a fabulous day on Sunday. It was the best display I have ever seen, and I go to a lot of displays. The way you made the Barn Owl come from the barn and across the field was magic to the eyes.
All the birds looks well taken care of and in nice condition. They are a credit to your business.
I know you must go to a lot of effort to make the day special for the public, not just the birds and displays, but the food was great too. the Barby was a great idea also. We will definitely spread the word in East Sussex and be back very soon. Thanks again.
Peter & Janet, Uckfield
I felt I must write to you all to say a massive thanks for a brilliant visit to the hawk conservancy yesterday. Me and my husband went along with my mum and dad, and were thoroughly impressed with every aspect of the centre. The staff were all helpful and friendly, but above all enthusiastic and passionate, which I feel is what makes the place so very special. We saw the valley of the eagles demonstration in the afternoon, and all agreed that it was a truly spectacular display, and so much more than we had expected to see. The setting is just idyllic and Reg's meadow is a fitting tribute to a clearly inspirational person. Seeing the birds flying free was just beautiful, and left us all feeling quite moved.
Many thanks, and we look forward to another visit in the near future so we can support your very worthy cause.
I have never given feedback of any description but I feel I must comment on our visit today. My husband and I have enjoyed a truly wonderful visit, the highlight being the Valley of the Eagles. All the birds were magnificent, the staff added humour to their knowledge and all set in fabulous surroundings. We found the setting, of days gone by, a positively fantastic addition. Keep up the good work and we will surely be back.
Bob and Denise Brown
Thank you for a wonderful afternoon out (wish we could have got there earlier) on Saturday! The whole experience seemed to be driven by absolute love for the creatures you protect and a desire to share it! Even 3 hours offered value for money because (unlike most attractions) the price included SO much! Apart from all that, it's an incredibly well organised and clean operation throughout. This is the first occasion I've been moved to write to express my gratitude and admiration. Well done all!
Jo Price, Saffron Walden
Many thanks to everyone who we met today. As a surprise for my mother a group of four of us visited today, on not the nicest of days, but we hardly noticed the typically British weather. I had read some reviews before we visited but despite this I was still surprised at what an amazing day we had. All of the staff who we met were helpful and knowledgeable, the grounds were beautiful and the birds of course breathtaking.
Again many many thanks to all whom we met today and those who we didn't but whose hard work contributed to making it a day to remember. We look forward to returning again in the future.
Thank you very much
I have put a good report for the Hawk Conservancy on trip advisor. Take a look. I think the place is wonderful. I just wish it was a little nearer to Burgess Hill in West Sussex
I visited the trust on Tuesday 26th June with my brother-in- law and his wife, we had the most fantastic day ever, the birds were all clearly visible and very well cared for. The flying displays were awesome. I cannot praise this place enough and would love to make a re-visit. I have told friends ?you must go?
Keep up the good work.
We have just got home from a fantastic day out at the Hawk Conservancy. It was my sons 6th birthday so along with 2 friends and his sister we packed our picnic and rain coats and headed off for the day.
We have all thoroughly had a great day and fallen for the vultures along with all the lovely birds. The demonstrations were amazing and all the staff were so knowledgable and friendly. The facilities were also excellent. What a wonderful job you all have.
I felt I had to write and let you know what a wonderful time we had at the Hawk Conservancy last weekend. We visited on my birthday in March, and we loved it so much we just had to come again, this time bringing my in-laws. All of the displays were fantastic ? fun, informative and fresh without ever being contrived or ?staged?, but The Valley of the Eagles display in particular was simply magical - to see all of those beautiful birds soaring free, in such great numbers, made me quite tearful and was one of the most profoundly moving, humbling things I?ve ever seen.
The work you do raising awareness of the threats faced globally by vultures today deserves special praise, as do your staff. All of the young keepers were superb ?knowledgeable, approachable and friendly, and it was so lovely to see the special bond they have with the birds and their love for them shining through. Nothing about the displays or talks felt forced or unnatural, and most importantly the birds too seemed to be enjoying themselves. I was so pleased to see that their huge aviaries gave them room to fly and behave naturally, and the fact that many were breeding speaks volumes about their welfare and happiness.
You should all be so proud of what you have achieved ? we have recommended you to a great many people and we will definitely be back again soon.
My husband, our thirteen year old son and I had a wonderful visit this afternoon. We came for a taster on a grey Easter Sunday. It was our first time but certainly won't be our last and we became members on the spot! We were very impressed by the facilities, by the staff and by the general interaction with the birds and look forward to coming back many times over the summer as well as booking in for one of your owl Saturday evenings in the autumn. We also enjoyed the cafe, which was a very nice place to sit and eat. The food was good and we much appreciated the fact that the prices were good value, which encouraged us to spend more - our son had three chocolate cornflake easter cakes! It was a great experience all around and we just wanted to thank you for getting the balance between nature and paying customers just right.
I attended your 2pm Eagle Display this afternoon and I was moved to tears. It was the best display that I have ever seen, and seeing the way you worked with the birds can only be seen as impressive. You obviously understand your birds and you respect them - as much as they respect you. Looking around their pens I can only compliment you on their conditions and the way in which you see to their needs.
Thank you so much for both the pleasure that it gave us this afternoon, but also the incredible work you do for these birds.
Will come back. Great day!
KJ ? Hillingdon, London
Just keep doing what you?re doing, and we?ll keep coming! A perfect day.
JG ? Godalming, Surrey
The Valley of the Eagles was spectacular. We've had a truly wonderful and enjoyable day at the Hawk Conservancy Trust
John and Maggie, Dorset
I would like to congratulate the team for an excellent show today. All of today's staff were friendly, enthusiastic and helpful. The displays themselves were fantastic and offered a good combination of education for the youngsters, and humour for us older visitors. I was surrounded by families with young children and it obvious they were all having a great time. It was an excellent day out, great value for money, and the BBQ was a welcome surprise. In today's climate where customer service is often lacking it is nice to feel appreciated as a customer.
I just wanted to say thank you to all your staff for making our visit such a wonderful experience. It was a treat to get up close and personal to the birds, the commentaries were fantastic, and the Trust is so well run and the staff dedicated to the cause. We have come away with a passionate interest in birds of prey, including vultures of all things. Great Photographic opportunities too!
Helen, Andy and Nick Olliver
We arrived early, following my brother in law's recommendation, not quite knowing what to expect and were greeted at your gates with a smile from your staff (off to a good start). We had a great time admiring your collection of birds before moving to the first flying display where, for the next half hour, we were gob smacked as your staff put on a display like we have never seen before, absolutely fantastic. The Valley of The Eagles display was amazing, we have seen other displays but nothing like this!! I just thought I would drop you a line because these days people are so quick to complain and rarely commend people for a job well done. Keep up the good work.
Whilst travelling from London to Cornwall last week we spotted the sign for your Trust and felt it would be good idea to stop off for an hour and have a look around. 4 hours later we found it hard to drag ourselves away. We had a fantastic time, and we were both moved whilst watching the flying displays. Your centre is beautifully kept, birds evidently healthy and it is obvious that you love what you do
Linda Lloyd & Dean Allsopp
My family and I spent the day at the Trust and would like to congratulate you on your first class bird park. The whole place was beautifully kept, the birds all looked incredibly well looked after, and the staff all looked happy and were enthusiastic, informative, entertaining and my sons were in awe of being so close to your amazing birds. Thank you for a truly great day out
Just a quick note to say how very impressed we were with our day out. From arrival in the car park until our surprisingly late departure the day was excellent. Staff were friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and personable. Shows were entertaining and well executed, and the site well laid out and clearly sign posted. The Children' passports were inspired and saw our troop show a real interest in making sure they got the stamps and saw the birds. All your birds were impressive, majestic and wonderful, with 4 adults and 6 children to impress you have done well
I would just like to say how much two grandchildren and 2 grandparents enjoyed their day with you. I had anticipated that a 1 to 2 hour window would have been enough, but it was not. Apart from your raptors in their aviaries, the presentation and actual content of the displays was exemplary. The presenters were enthusiastic, put the subject over in such a manner that a 7 year old's and his younger brother's attention was kept, no mean feat, and the OAPs were thoroughly entranced with the displays. It will definitely be on our to do list and we will tell our friends that it is a must.
Peter A Day
I consider the visit to the Trust to be the highlight of my year so far. The flying displays were spectacular, and made more enjoyable by the light hearted commentary. It is remarkable value for money, and the staff we met were most pleasant and seemed to be enjoying themselves. It is not over commercialised as many places are these days, and an attraction that can hold the attention of two boys their age for 5 hours deserves praise.
You are one of the best entertaining and educating places I have ever been too. The staff are caring, so much fun and so helpful. You have magnificently combined awareness, education with entertainment that never borders on the superficial or vulgar. Long may your magnificent work continue
We just wanted to say what a fantastic day we had with you. We are keen on nature and wanted to congratulate you and all your staff on their commitment, dedication to their work, and their sheer obvious enjoyment in what they do. It's fabulous and rare these days to see such a high level of enthusiasm. The talks and displays were excellent, the best I have ever seen, and wonderful seeing the birds so close to you. Everyone is so friendly, professional, informative and customer focussed. Its a great attraction and we will definitely be coming again.
S T Morgan, Bristol
I came to the Conservancy yesterday and had an amazing day. Everyone was so friendly and the staff talked about the birds with such fondness and passion. There was no feeling that a speech was being read from a script, or the we were getting a lecture. Every commentary was witty and very informative. We also enjoyed the BBQ and coffee shop and the delights it held. We were just sad when the day came to an end.
I often visit places and, when pleased, leave with the good intention of letting the company know what a good time I had but, as a busy mum of two, good intentions go to waste. However, I must let you know what a fantastic day we had last week. The birds and grounds were fabulous, but what really shone through was the dedicated work of your staff. The displays were amazing and the talking, enthusiasm and knowledge of you staff absolutely made it.
Today we came along and spent three glorious hours at the Trust. We soon realised the amazing work that you do, the passion in your work, and the sheer joy it brings. Today was truly inspiring. We sat in Reg's meadow to watch a wonderful display and we were brought to tears at one moment during the music. It was beautiful and a wonderful experience.
Simon & Maria
Thank you for making Saturday evening a night we shall never forget. It was wonderful to be so close to the birds in such a relaxed and unhurried setting. The barbecue in the setting of the Wild flower meadow was idyllic and we could have stayed for hours. Lark flying in the meadow was a memorable experience, and the owls were magical. Time passed all too quickly. It was a marvellous way to celebrate our 25th anniversary, and the evening was planned with the Hawk Conservancy's characteristic care and thoughtfulness.
Jenny Griffths & David Hobbs
I visited you yesterday to do an introduction to falconry experience & I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed it. I didn't really know what to expect and I had not mentioned to you that I have been very ill & quite disabled at times (I should have informed you but I forgot & it was actually really nice to participate in something where people didn't have to accommodate my difficulties) so wasn't sure how I'd manage. The centre was perfect for me, with good paths (I stumble a lot!), everything signed & lots of information.
The group was lovely, the leaders were so friendly and the whole thing was brilliant. My family are very impressed with the photos I've shown them, especially as I am known for not liking birds! I now know that it's small birds I don't like - falcons & chickens are fine!
I wanted to make sure I thanked you for the experience & for the ongoing work you do. And the food in the restaurant looked delicious!
I visited today for the three hour basic handling and felt I had to email you immediately on my return. I was deeply impressed with both the activities and the staff members. The passion of the older gentleman (I'm so sorry I cannot remember his name but he has been with you for 16 years) was so obvious and his knowledge was so exemplary it was incredible and I could have talked to him for hours. The happiness was noticeable in all staff I met today and I was very impressed by the customer service at all times in all places.
In short, I found today a genuine pleasure and feel all staff should be commended on their attitude. Especially the passion and knowledge of the gentleman who led our group.
Deeply deeply impressed and will return in the summer with the family.
We attended a half day experience at the Hawk Conservancy in December and it was so enjoyable.
Your team is obviously glad to be there and seemed (rather more surprisingly) glad we were there. We felt that we were being introduced to something special rather than just being in the way.
The Kite display was terrific, the Harris Hawks entertaining and Delores should have her own show.
On top of all of this your organisation is clearly respected and doing a lot of good.
?. and we thought we should tell you because it is always nice to be told.
Jacqui & James King
I just wanted to express our sincere gratitude and genuine delight having come to you today to attend the children's owl experience.
I can't remember the last time we did an activity as a family where the reality was greater than the expectation. Our host (Pam?) is very knowledgeable and absolutely fantastic with the kids, the access to animals is brilliant and the experience lasted the whole afternoon when I assumed that it would probably be an hour or so in duration.
This has been one of the best experience days we have ever had as a family and represents really goid value for money.
Thank you ever so much. I will definitely be recommending this to family and friends!
Paul Saer & family
I was a guest on an experience day yesterday, and would like to say how much I enjoyed the whole day. It was professionally handled, yet relaxed, and I was really impressed with the way I was allowed to interact with the birds...really 'hands-on'. The weather was great which, no doubt, helped both birds & guests !!! Well worth the money for a 'whole day' experience. Many thanks to all involved in the planning & execution of my memorable day out.
We just want to let you know what an absolutely fantastic and magical day we had last Friday on your Bird of Prey Experience.
Pam and Ben were just incredible with their passion and knowledge, and it was fabulous to spend so much time actually handling the amazing and beautiful birds.
It really did exceed all expectations, and I cannot thank you enough for the experience.
Verity and Martin
A thoroughly enjoyable day. Neil and Richard were both excellent hosts and very knowledgeable. Would recommend this to like-minded friends and family. Would love to come back and try an Owls by Moonlight evening.
CJ ? Netheravon, Wiltshire
I was surprised to be able to fly so many birds of prey ? what an experience! One I shall never forget. Definitely excellent value for money. I would recommend this day to all my family and friends. Thanks again!
J.E.P ? Chalfont St. Giles, Buckinghamshire
The visit was made very special by Cedric?s and Stuart?s obvious passion for the birds. Their care and concern for each bird and knowledge of their individual characteristics was impressive. Thank you for a great experience
Organised visit from Petersfield, Hampshire
A big thank you to the staff who carried out the junior falconer course yesterday. My son thoroughly enjoyed himself and it has made him even more sure that this is the career for him. the Trust is a fantastic place.
Thank you to everyone that my son met on his Junior Falconer session, from the reception staff, volunteers to the falconers. He was thrilled with everything he experienced today from flying owls, feeding vultures to using a lure, so thrilled in fact he is sitting in bed now pretending to be a Bird of Prey and is already planning his flying demonstration. he is eager to return to school to recount his day to anyone that will listen!
I wanted to say how much I enjoyed my owl experience with you. The presentations were excellent, nicely relaxed and full of useful information. The flying was very professional and kept everyone enthralled. Well done
I must write to say what a glorious day I spent with you. Your staff made us so welcome and at ease, and were able to answer my most lateral questions. I was brimming with information by the end of the day. May I add special thanks to the chef who provided such a wonderful lunch of home cooked food. the most wonderful experience was the handling of the birds, and despite my disabilities your staff made it easy for me without drawing attention to my problems, a special thank you for that.
I would like to record extreme thanks for the most wonderful day we had with you. From our arrival to being the last out of the gift shop at 5.30 we had nothing but absolute praise for the facility and all the staff who work there. It was a glorious day, and we spent the best part of 7 hours being introduced to the wonderful work you do and meet both your staff and wonderful tenants. The highlight was holding and flying an owl, a lifelong dream for me, and meeting the Harris Hawks and get a small look at the dream job your staff do. It was a journey of discovery, and we have both learnt so much about the skill, care and dedication involved in looking after these magnificent creatures.
John & Carol Cook
Your staff who accompanied us on the day were extremely welcoming, friendly and their enthusiasm for the work that they do was infectious. It was a pleasure to get a deeper insight into these amazing birds from your knowledgeable staff who clearly have a passion for their conservation. Being close to, handle and fly these birds, including young ones in training was a really fulfilling experience that will be remembered for a long time
Matthew & Wendy Blake
My family attended a Day with Birds of Prey yesterday and I just wanted to let you know what a fantastic day we had. It was perfect from beginning to end, and what a bonus treat to have been able to see the baby owls up close in the hospital. We had a memorable experience and it was really interesting to learn about the invaluable work of the Trust with raptors in the UK and overseas. The day was great. It's hard to pin point our favourite bit, but flying the Harris Hawks had to be the highlight. All the staff are brilliant, and it's clear that that the birds' welfare is paramount.
I would just like to say thank you for the marvellous day we had with you, to celebrate our wedding anniversary. For the whole day we enjoyed an insight into the work undertaken at the Trust. I was surprised how much was crammed into one day, it was non stop excitement.
Sharon & Colin Dunn
I was privileged to attend a day with Birds of Prey yesterday, and I felt compelled to write that the day was absolutely fantastic! In all honesty this has been one of the most fascinating and inspiring experiences I have ever experienced. Thank you to the hosts for being so wonderful, informative, enthusiastic and ensuring that the day was a truly special experience, and a pleasure to meet Ashley who took time out to chat and make us all feel welcome. It was more than an experience it was uplifting and inspirational, and I can't wait to come back
A huge thank you to everyone at the centre, our family had bought a gift voucher for my brother and accompanied him on his visit. All of your staff from the gentleman at the entrance to the knowledgeable staff holding the demonstrations were all highly professional but kind, patient and extremely friendly. They were all happy to stand around and talk with passion about the birds and the centre. Pete's experience sessions was an absolute joy, with no hint of being rushed through his day, and treated with the utmost courtesy throughout. A birthday treat to remember.
A big thank you to your staff for the best birthday present ever, according to my 16 year old son. The birds of prey day was fantastic, don't change the format you have got it just right! Your staff's easy going nature, genuine love for the birds and in depth knowledge made it a day never to be forgotten. We were made to feel like special VIPs and not just another group of people to be taken around, the low number of 4 participants was perfect. So thank you to everyone involved in the organization it was a brilliant day where we learnt so much
p.s. lunch was yummy and filling!
Dianne and Alex
I am writing to say thank you for the wonderful day I had with you. It was nice to handle such a variety of raptors, and questions asked or explanations needed were answered in a such a manner you could not fail to understand. This is an experience that will live with me for a long time.
Owls By Moonlight
I felt I had to send you an E Mail saying how very much I enjoyed 'Owls by Moonlight' last night - it was a late birthday gift from my son and partner and I couldn't have wished for a nicer present - I enjoyed every minute - the moonlight filtering through the trees in the larger arena was surreal. The whole evening was great from start to finish and we are planning a full day with you later in the Spring. You all must be so dedicated - the Owls are fantastic and obviously very well cared for.
Thank you again for a wonderful experience
Our members enjoyed the event from start to finish, and have asked me to express our special thanks to the catering team and the bird crew for the night. The welcome talk and commentaries were both enlightening and entertaining, and Paul?s light heartedness achieved a smile on everyone?s face. The woodland setting was enchanting on such a perfect summer's evening and magical with the owls skimming low above our heads, and the open arena was perfect under a galaxy of stars with bats joining in the flying display. The evening was topped off with the opportunity to get close to and photograph a range of owls. Thank you again to the whole team, plus everyone behind the scenes
Lawrence & Diana Wild, Questors U3A
Just a word to say how much we enjoyed Owls By Moonlight, and we were very impressed with the fact that you actually did make it by moonlight. Many thanks to all the staff who provided such a good evening, full of information but also made it fun, and of course the stars of the show - the owls
John & Chris Campbell
Thank you for making my husband's 60th Owls By Moonlight birthday treat so special. You were all consummate professionals, extremely knowledgeable and very well organised. A memorable night
Thank you for a wonderful evening on your special Halloween Owls By Moonlight. I had an absolutely fabulous time, the food was great, the flying displays were just wonderful (as they always are), and the floodlit woodland setting is still giving me Goosebumps every time I think about it, it was just stunning. Thank you to everyone who made my night so special, nothing was too much trouble and no question too dumb to answer.
We wish to convey a big thank you for the truly memorable evening we spent with you. Our thanks to the cooks for a delicious supper, and to our guides who took us through a series of displays that were truly magical. The owls are the stars, but so are the staff who gave us an unforgettable evening. You all do what must be hard work with such ease, making those watching you totally relaxed.
On behalf of the club I would like to thank your wonderful team for a superb day out. The morning with your falconers was great, and our newer members were thrilled at seeing the birds at such close quarters. The afternoon's events were also thoroughly entertaining - a truly unforgettable day, and we hope to repeat the experience again in the not too distant future.
Barbara Holder, Gosport Camera Club
I arranged a visit for 21 members of our club last Sunday, and wanted to let you know what a wonderful day we all had. As a group of photographers, we had a huge array of incredible subjects to explore, but the one thing that impressed us most was the enthusiasm, dedication, knowledge and sheer exuberance of all the staff and presenters. Thank you for a superb day out
Dave Towend, Warminster Camera Club.
I just wanted to say many thanks for a memorable day at your centre. Today was superb! Every member of staff had such patience and we were given so much information. It was a memorable day from start to finish at your photogenic centre with wonderful staff.
Ilana Toledano, London.
Just a quick thank you to say how much I appreciated all the arrangements for the picnics. Everything went smoothly, and my son and his fianc?e were impressed and delighted with the picnic, as was I as it all went so well. the food was pronounced delicious and the wine much appreciated. A big thank you to all the catering staff, as ever the Hawk Conservancy Trust came up to standard and then some.
Thank you for the wonderful arrangements you put in place for my son's picnic lunch. The food and wine were much appreciated and they enjoyed the ambience of being in the wild flower meadow. The whole day was a great success, and the staff at the coffee shop made sure that everything went like clockwork.
I am writing this letter to thank you very much for all the services your establishment provided our students during the last academic session. The students found the activities worthwhile and has added to their academic experiences. Thank you to all your team for their assistance and support which made sure it was a positive learning experience for all the students. The demonstrations ensured that the students understood the concepts of working with Birds of Prey. I hope that this relationship continues into the next academic year.
David Dangana, Basingstoke College of Technology
We all enjoyed our trip to your park, and were all amazed at how they could fly at great speeds and their aerodynamics were fantastic. Your displays were very informative and exciting. We have carried on working on Birds of Prey at school, making posters and carrying out experiments on how beaks work.
Year 9, Edington & Shapwick School
Thank you so much for all you did to make our visit to you informative, interesting, and fun. The children were inspired by what they saw. We were impressed by the way you ran the school visit, which was part of a science based curriculum, and this trip was the perfect start to our week learning about flight.
Sue Croft & D Pratton, Buryfields Infant School
I just want to tell you how wonderful your talk was.
We had a record number of members on that day. We all enjoyed it and were delighted by your obvious passion and knowledge. It's good to know there are people like you and your colleagues in our world, thank heaven for you all.
Very best wishes to you
Mrs Vivien Johnson, Sarum U3A
I am writing to you on behalf of the ladies of CAMEO in Basingstoke to thank you so much for your very entertaining talk last evening. We honestly cannot remember when we have all laughed so much.
Barbara , secretary Cameo club, Basingstoke
Just to say "Well Done" to Ashley for an inspiring & thoroughly enjoyable evening. The personable & hilarious nature of the talks were excellent, with Ashley being a "natural" speaker, lets hope the American visitors in the audience thought so as well.
Will certainly look out for more of these in the future to come along again & bring some of my friends.
We are writing to you following yesterday?s brilliant presentation to our members which certainly had our members in fits of laughter, must have done us good to have a laugh. During our lunch break a large number of our members came up to us to say they thoroughly enjoyed your presentation and will be talking about it for days to come, we the committee feel it was possibly the best presentation we have had for several years
Basingstoke & Deane over 55?s forums
Your talk went down a bomb! My husband says it was one of the best talks he has ever heard anywhere. Ashley, you are a born story teller and I think life in your household when you were growing up must have been both wonderful and hysterical. Certainly some of the laughter in the audience at your tales was bordering on the hysterical, as one didn't have time to finish one laugh before the next one overtook it! Our challenge now will be to keep finding speakers to live up to the standard you have set!
Talk given by Ashley Smith to Monks Brook U3A
Ann Schefer, Monks Brook U3A
Last night was tremendously enjoyable, you will have felt the rapport with your audience, and we were so grateful for spending the time. It is a great skill you have to entertain and inform so well, and the photos were a perfect illustration to your talk and greatly added to our enjoyment.
Mrs A M Newton, Royal Southern Yacht Club
Thank you for a very memorable evening. Our 2 guests who joined us were celebrating birthdays, they really enjoyed themselves and have requested the same treat for their birthdays next year. Please pass on our compliments to the singers they did a fantastic job of entertaining us all, even in the dark. Well done for another triumph for the Trust.
Mr & Mrs K Hambridge
We are writing to thank everyone at the Hawk Conservancy Trust for making our wedding reception such a splendid and stress free occasion. From the moment we first contacted you we were very impressed with the helpful and attentive attitude of the staff. It was reassuring to know that with all the necessary preparations the reception was the one thing we did not need to worry about. Everything on the day was perfect from the food, private flying display and your fantastic staff. We couldn't have asked for more,in fact one of guests commented that it was the best wedding venue yet!
Paul & Gemma Merritt
Weddings and Civil Ceremonies
We would like to say a very, very big thank you for making our son Stephen and his beautiful bride Alana?s wedding day a truly wonderful day to remember. From our arrival at the centre you made us all feel most welcome, and the atmosphere was so relaxed. I know that I can speak for everyone there as all the guests said the same thing to me. The birds were magnificent, and even the owl's misdemeanour with the rings made us all laugh! The bird flying session was superb, it was so nice that all the children got the chance to have him on their arm.
The family photo session was lovely with the setting beautiful and very peaceful.
Once again, many, many thanks to you and all your staff for your kindness and care on the 9th.
Wendy Bushell , August 2013
I just thought I should let you know how delighted my wife and I were with the wedding of our daughter Jody.
The subtle but efficient organisation was a delight.
Neil & Alison Osman
We had such a wonderful blessing on Saturday and it really finished off what we can only describe as our perfect wedding. We just can't believe how lucky we were to have held our wedding at such special place. You made our day absolutely unforgettable from start to finish, everything was perfect. The food was amazing - there was no mass-produced wedding food, just mouthwatering, cooked to perfection courses and a delicious buffet.
The flying displays were incredible as usual, but felt extra special as we were sharing them with all our guests. The bird handlers at our private flying displays really pushed out the boat and gave everyone lots of laughs and such a memorable day. For me and my new husband :) the last display of the evening was our favourite, as the sun was starting to set. It really was the perfect ending to our special day.
We owe the biggest thanks to you for everything you did from the start of booking our wedding with you right up to the end of our wedding. You worked so hard to give us such a fantastic day; from meeting me at the gate with the very much appreciated brolly, to calming me down before the walk down the aisle, to the music for our ceremony, to letting our Dad dress up in your Owl costume, arranging spectacular photo opportunities for our photographer, keeping my Mum out of the present room :), running back to the venue to get me some flip flops, decorating the venue and even, at the end of the day, helping us to pack all our bits up. So many people commented on how amazing you were and how impressed they were. Even our photographer said it was a wonderful venue, the staff were incredible and The Hawk Conservancy Trust was up there with the top wedding venues he had photographed at.
Mr & Mrs Sargent
Thank you so much for all you and your staff did for us leading up to the wedding and on the day itself. Everything went so smoothly, thanks to your organization, Alan and I were relaxed, and everyone had a fabulous time, and really enjoyed the hawk flying. The finishing touches such as heart shaped pate and shortbread biscuits made it all the more special. I am sure that you will get some return visits!
Alan and Sarah, April 2013
We wanted to say a big thank you for everything you and your staff did to make our wedding day so special. All of the guests commented how you had thought of every detail, and how staff were on hand, inconspicuously, throughout the day in such a professional way.
Please say thank you on our behalf to all the staff who were all so friendly and made our day even more memorable, and for giving us a day we will never forget.
Julian and Sue Thomas 2012
Thank you to everyone at the Trust for making our day so special. It was perfect. Special thanks to Tracey for being so calm and organising the day, and for taking so many lovely pictures for us.
Amy & John
We would like to say a big thank you for what you and the Trust team did for us yesterday. Everything flowed so smoothly, and all of our guests said how helpful you were throughout the whole day.
Mr & Mrs Randall
We are forever indebted to all of you for the many ways in which you helped make our great day even more memorable. In particular the little photo sessions we had with Molly the Great Grey owl was the icing on the already excellent cake. We would do whatever we can do to encourage anyone to choose the Conservancy as a wedding venue.
Graham & Lind Birchmore (May 2012)
Thank you for a truly magnificent Wedding day with Eagles on the 25th May.
Thank you for your thought, care and attention to detail applied to every element of the day - qualities of all Hawk Conservancy events which make it such a special place. The birds were magnificent and their impeccable behaviour a real tribute to your falconry skills.
The marriage ceremony was just what we wanted: a beautiful setting, a simple ceremony imbued with meaning. Thanks especially to Tracey and Gareth for being our witnesses - not in their job descriptions!
Thanks and best wishes
Jenny & David (May 2011)
Well what can Bernie & I say, you gave us both the most fantastic day and saying just a thank you does not seem to be enough. Although our guest numbers were small and intimate as we wanted, every single one of them said it was the best wedding they had ever experienced and that is down to you, Ashley and every single member of your staff who made our day something that no-one will ever forget. It will be etched on our memories for ever, so much so that neither Bernie or myself got any sleep last night as we was on such a buzz!!
You managed to cover every detail and always accomadated us and my silly whims (like being on your horse Murphy) but I loved it!!
Could you please thank every single member of your team for making our day so very very special, the two guys who did all the bird handling with us, the girls who stayed with us feeding and keeping us topped up with fluids all deserve a mention, but the biggest thank you has to be for you and Ashley you were always there and covered everything over and above the call of duty, like the owl when we were in the wooded area, the flat for me to change in and not forgetting the two guitarists you laid on while having supper.
We have vowed to spend every wedding anniversary at the Trust !
Rita & Bernie (Oct 2010)