Red Kites at Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre
Having recognised its fantastic potential for educational opportunities and appreciation of wildlife, Grow Cook Learn has fully embraced the project to establish a Red Kite Experience in the Onny Meadows. Plans were begun last year under Shropshire Council to erect a hide in the lower Onny Meadows and fence an area to which we aim to attract a few Red Kites to feed. This would be a pilot venture over one winter. These magnificent birds of prey have started to return to south Shropshire after having reached the brink of extinction during the last century.
The project has proved to be extremely popular with local people, many of whom have kindly come forward to offer volunteer help with feeding and giving educational talks. An illustrated talk on Red Kites in Shropshire given at the centre last September to help raise funds was sold out, with 80 people attending.
There have been concerns about the proximity of the A49 and the number of Red Kites we may attract to the area. We have consulted widely with such sites as Bwlch Nant yr Arian positioned near a main road and with the Chilterns AONB where kites fly over the M40 to assess danger to motorist and the kites themselves. We have no intention of attracting the vast numbers of birds seen at Gigrin Farm, limiting them by the amount of food we put out. We simply want to provide those with an interest in these fantastic birds a guaranteed view of them.
Planning permission was granted in the Summer and we have been applying for additional funding to ensure that meat can be prepared in accordance with AHVLA advice and that the area can be made as safe as possible for the visiting birds. We have now started feeding and hope to open the hide for visitors once we have started to attract kites to the site on a regular basis.
If you wish to get involved we’d love to hear from you. Give us a call or contact us