Following the government’s update to the COVID-19 restrictions and re-opening plans, the Hawk Conservancy Trust does not expect to be allowed to re-open until after Saturday 4 July 2020. The phased re-opening documentation published on Monday 11 May 2020 states that people are still not able to ‘use ticketed outdoor leisure venues’.
We are a good way into our planning for re-opening and we’ll keep you posted once we know when we can re-open and provide details about what re-opening will look like. It certainly will mean some modifications to the way we operate and you can be assured that we are putting safety first and foremost. It is taking some thorough planning and we will make sure we have all precautions in place before we re-open. We are very excited at the thought of having our visitors, members, supporters and volunteers back, in whichever way we can. The Trust is just not the same without you all. It will also be a very positive sign of COVID-19 infections subsiding and fewer lives being lost, threatened or affected by its horrible consequences.
When we re-open, we will need to limit the number of visitors at the Trust each day and we will require all visitors (including members) to pre-book a date to visit in advance.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the wonderful support you have shown us in recent months. We hope that we have managed to make you feel connected to the goings on at the Trust whilst we have been closed. We have been very grateful to our brilliant team for their versatility and enthusiasm on our pages. We have been bowled over by their commitment to connect with you during this time. Despite being flat-out working behind the scenes, they have found the time to appear on our channels and bring our lovely birds (and fascinating information about birds and wildlife) to you. We have certainly seen a new range of skills – including dancing! Many of the team watch our channels and seeing your comments and reactions really lifts their spirits at a time when we’re not able to see you all face to face. Please stay with us a little longer to keep our community alive whilst we remain closed.
We would also like to thank you those who have supported us with donations, raffle tickets and purchasing vouchers and tickets from us for the future, particularly during these difficult times for personal budgets. Since we have been closed, we would have welcomed thousands of visitors to the Trust during some of our busiest months of the year and have lost those admission fees that are crucial to the care of our birds and our conservation work. Please continue to help us if you can to offset some of our lost income. We’re planning to bring some more fun to our fundraising and offer the chance for you to win fun experiences for the future at the same time as helping us out.
Thankfully, the most recent announcement has meant that we can re-commence some of our fieldwork, which needed to be suspended due to the restrictions. Our National Bird of Prey Hospital™ has remained open throughout and, as is typical at this time of year, is very busy with lots of admissions of sick, injured and orphaned birds. We are so grateful for any support for our Hospital at this time, with our income hugely reduced.
In response to those who have asked how they can help, we have put together some suggestions below. As time passes and our closed period continues, we are reviewing our planned events, experiences and bookings. Below is a summary of the current situation and the commitments we have made so far.
If you have a voucher for a visit to the Trust, we will extend the length of this ticket by six months. There is no need to contact us for your tickets to be extended, they will now be valid for 18 months from the date of purchase instead of 12 months. When we re-open, we will require you to call to pre-book a date to visit because we will need to limit the number of visitors onsite.
We are so grateful for the support we receive from our members and we miss seeing the regular faces at the Trust. If you already have membership with us, we will extend your membership for the period we are closed. There’s no need for you to do anything, we will calculate the closed period (when we re-open) and extend your membership by altering your renewal date. The extended period will be added to the end of your membership free of charge, so if you pay by monthly direct debit, your payments will stop at the end of your membership yet your membership will still be valid. This will be the same for Annual Members and Off-peak Members. When we re-open, we will require you to call to pre-book a date to visit because we will need to limit the number of visitors at the Trust.
Experiences and Encounter Vouchers
If you already have a voucher for an experience or Meet the Burrowers VIP Encounter including admission, we will extend this for an additional 6 months. There is no need for you to contact us, we will update this on our system and extend the expiry date. When we are able to offer experiences and encounters, which is unlikely to be from the moment we re-open, we will require you to contact us to book an experience/encounter date and time. We will provide more information in due course.
Experiences and Encounters
If you are already booked to join one of our experiences or a Meet the Burrowers VIP Encounter dated during our closed period, a member of our team will contact you to re-book you onto a future date.
If we have been unable to or will be unable to go ahead with events that you are booked to attend, we will contact you and re-book you onto a future date. If you are booked onto an event and we need to cancel and cannot reschedule the event, we will contact you to work out a solution with you. At the moment, it is not looking possible for us to be able to hold any events until August 2020, this will need to be reviewed and may change depending on government guidelines and restrictions.
Half-price tickets expiring 31 March 2020
If you have purchased half-price tickets and have not managed to use them due to COVID-19 restrictions/closure, you can use these tickets during the months of October and November 2020 only. After 30 November 2020, we will not be able to extend any of these tickets for further use. We will require you to call us to pre-book a date to visit because we will need to limit the number of visitors at the Trust.
We are very grateful to those who have adopted our birds, both as a premium adoption or a standard adoption. Please be assured that whilst we are closed, your adoption fee will continue to go towards the care of your adopted bird. This is particularly appreciated, as we will see a huge reduction of funding coming into the Trust from paying visitors during the closed period.
If you have not used your admission ticket that came with your standard adoption or met your adopted bird as part of the premium adoption, we will extend the validity of your admission tickets for the length of the period we are closed. When we re-open, we will require you to call to pre-book a date to visit because we will need to limit the number of visitors at the Trust.
If you have any questions that we haven’t managed to answer, or if your circumstances have changed, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our office team are predominantly working from home with limited hours in the office, so the best way to get hold of us is to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Look after yourselves and each other and enjoy the wildlife a little more now the restrictions have lifted a little.