Falconry enthusiasts Glen Ridgeway and Deryck Clarke have been flying Hawk's at Westcott Venture Park for over a decade.
Both work at Westcott, Glen is a skip driver for Bucks Recycling and Deryck is building the bund which aims to suppress noise from Bucks Recycling to Westcott village. They currently fly Jess the Hawk at the Park on weekends from March until September when she goes into molt.
Glen explains: “Jess is a three-and-a-half-year-old hunting bird so she will take rabbits if she gets a chance but it’s great to see her flying and exercising in her natural environment. I was introduced to Westcott by son in-law Andy Campbell of Amp-Air in 2009 and have been flying her here ever since.”
Deryck says: “We both have a deep interest in wildlife and flying Jess at the Park provides a fascinating insight into a vast range of nature here at Westcott. People would be surprised to hear quite how much wildlife there is here although we tend to see more than most people as we are actively looking for it.”
The duo has seen many different species of birds including: ravens, green woodpeckers, goldcrests, magpie, red kites, woodcock, barn owls, an increased number of partridges, and buzzards which were bred near Bucks Recycling. They’ve also seen a kingfisher and even an egret!
They have observed a phenomenal range of other wildlife varieties including the resident black and white cat, many rabbits and sets of foxes, badgers, stoats, muntjacs, squirrels, grass snakes and hares. They’ve also seen rogue sheep but the Business Park Manager, Jayne Cannell does a good job of catching them and returning them to neighbouring farms.
Jayne concludes: “Looking after our open spaces and encouraging biodiversity is a labour of love at Westcott and we protect the green beauty of the park, encouraging species such as newts, butterflies and owls to thrive - not to mention the colony of 20,000 bees we house. Sustainability and ecology are always central to everything we do at Westcott and we are delighted to help support Jess to fly in her natural environment.
“Apart from the environmental benefits, tenants appreciate being able to work in such a natural environment. We’d like to invite tenants to take a closer look around and you’ll see more and more wildlife – if you just take the time, it’s all there to enjoy on your doorstep!”