Skip to the content

click on a question to reveal the answer

General FAQs

YES!...The British Bird of Prey Centre at the National Botanic Garden of Wales is where you can visit 20 native species or regular visitors, all year round. It is the only centre dedicated to our native species in the UK. Learn about and see close up the Owls and Raptors that live around us and see them fly within metres of you everyday. 

We are open to general admissions from 10am until 5pm.*

Our flying shows are at 11:30am, 1:30pm and 3:00pm.

Our full daily timetable is here.

*note the Private Half Day experience starts at 9am

 

All areas of the British Bird of Prey centre are step free and have suitable access for wheelchairs.  A free buggy shuttle service is available within the Botanic Gardens for anyone requiring mobility assistance.  

Dogs and other animals are not permitted to enter the British Bird of Prey Centre, the flying ground or to join flying experiences. Our birds welfare is paramount and whilst your dog might be perfectly behaved, some of our birds do not like dogs and would be very upset merely seeing them. 

If you have an assistance dog, we recommend you contact us in advance of your visit.

The National Botanic Garden of Wales only allow access to dogs on specific "doggy days", Further information on these is here.

If you are visiting the Gardens with your dog and wish to visit the centre we have made a "safe" area available with a bench for one of your group to stay with your dog.  A member of staff will be happy to direct you. 

We welcome assistance dogs on the National Botanic Garden of Wales site except in bird contact areas. 

Please contact the British Bird of Prey Centre is you wish to visit and would normally have an assistance dog with you. 

Be aware that due to the nature of flying birds of prey and the welfare of those birds there is no shade on our flying ground.  However the woodland between the centre and the Walled Garden provides good shade and both our shop and conservation room offer cool well ventilated spaces.  

At the British Bird of Prey Centre we have bottled water, tea, coffee and hot chocolate available as take-out drinks.

A wider range of food, drinks are available from the National Botanic Garden of Wales catering facilities.

We have a number of opportunities each day to meet the birds and have photographs with them. These are at our private and group experiences: Details are here. 

Smoking and E-cigarettes are not permitted in the centre, on the flying ground or during experiences for the health and wellbeing of our birds.

There is not a cash machine on-site.

Yes! all major debit cards as well as Visa and Mastercard

We have two toilets situated within the centre, both have assistance aids, alarms and baby changing facilities.

There are changing facilities in the toilets located within the centre.

Yes! If you are looking for that gift, that is just a little different, for that special someone.

We have a variety of gift vouchers available for our experiences, detail here.

Or you could sponsorship of their favourite bird, details here.  

Yes, we have some information here.

There are a variety of options and we are developing our specific learning support to aid those teaching key stages 1 and 2. Draw on our knowledge and expertise to help inspire your young people to their full potential. To discuss how we can assist please get in touch here. 

We can provide a unique setting and experience to make that important date more special.  Just contact us here.

click on a question to reveal the answer

Bird FAQs

We know our birds are happy and content, because on the very very rare occasion that one decides to stay out a bit longer than we might have planned... we can usually find them later, sat outside the staff door waiting to be taken back inside. 

Below are a few more other signs you can look for to tell you they are content. 

This is how birds sleep. So only very relaxed birds will sit like this during the day. They tuck their foot up into their chest feathers and it keeps it nice and warm. Once one leg gets tired, then they swap over. Could you imagine sleeping standing up on one leg? If they are really, really relaxed they might even lay down!

Tip: Look out for Enzo the Peregrine Falcon, he likes to sunbathe on a warm day

All of the birds here are used to people and they understand that people feed them. So if they start to make a noise whilst you are watching them, they are probably asking if you have a mouse in your pocket! Noise is a good sign, as a scared bird would hide and make no noise at all. 

Tip: If you can't see a bird say their name, they might answer you

We all know that taking a bath in public would be a bit scary and its no different for the birds. They like their privacy when they bathe, so if they have decided to have a bath whilst you are there then they must be feeling very comfortable.

Tip: Atlantis usually has a bath after her 11:30am show

This is "Preening"; it is how a bird 'brushes its hair'. They put special oils on each feather with their beak, pulling it from the top to the bottom. This keeps the feathers in good condition and gives them a water resistance, which is very important here in Wales.   

It is very unlikely you will see a bird completely asleep during the day at the centre, but if you do see a bird without a head then there is no need to worry. Birds sleep with their heads tucked back under their wing. It gives the impression they have no head at all! 

Tip: Puddle and Flint sometimes take an afternoon nap

Not at all!  All our birds are by nature very lazy.  Flying takes energy and that is a bad thing for a bird.  So they fly to find food or to find show off in breeding season, and after that they go and sit on their favourite perch. For our birds this is when they are in their aviaries. 

Remember all our birds do get to fly free every day!

No our birds get excited when they know it is almost their time to fly.  They know the time better than some of the falconers!  So look out for those that are getting a bit excited, or if they are staring at the back of the aviary, they are probably the ones that are waiting to go out to fly next. 

Raptors and Owls all have their favourite place to sit.  It is after all how they spend the majority of their time regardless of whether they are wild or not. We obviously spend a lot time with our birds and we have worked out the favourite spot for each.  Very occasionally you may see a perch being moved, this is usually because one of the birds has moved house. 

In short more perches would not be used and just take up space. 

Owls and Raptors do not live in boxes, they use them to nest as protection for their young or because they are frightened and want to hide.  Our birds are all very relaxed around people and so do not need to hide and prefer to sit on their favourite perch as they would do naturally in the wild. 

Click on a question to reveal the answer

Private Experience FAQs

We have opportunities to fly our birds of prey, both by joining a group or privately as family, small group or individual. 

All the details for our flying experiences and how to book are here: More Information Here

Your experience will take place at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Middleton Hall, Carmarthenshire SA32 8HN

Included in the cost of your experience is access to the British Bird of Prey Centre you will see around 20 native species in their aviaries. Including seven species of Owl, two eagles, as well as Falcons, kites and Buzzard. 

Your experience also includes entrance to the National Botanic Garden of Wales

On booking confirmation we will send you are details of a alternate entrance, along with details of where you should park and how we will meet you. If you need these directions again, please feel free to contact us before you visit.

Be aware of the weather an dress appropriately for it. Ensure you have shoes that will remain comfortable for you to be in through the duration of your private flying experience. The birds will not mind what you wear!

Of course, if you have a friend or family member coming out flying and you really do not want to join in, or you would like to tag along to take photos then you are more than welcome. You will require a spectator ticket, these can be pre-booked with the experience or purchased in cash on the day from your falconer.

£15 – Hawk Walks or Owl Encounter Spectator Ticket

£25 – Half Day Spectator Ticket

*Please Note: Children must be accompanied by at least one participating adult. 

It is safe for anyone to fly as we have birds to suit all ages. However, anyone under 16 must be accompanied by a full paying adult. We don’t charge for under 5’s in your group, they are welcome to join in if they are brave enough.

Yes! Please click away and don’t forget to send us them if you get any good ones or post them to our social media pages:

Facebook : thebritishbirdofpreycentre

Twitter: @ukbirdsofprey

Instagram: @britishbirdofpreycentre

As all our experiences are private, then we can tailor them to your needs. You are able to walk as much or as little as you like. There are some minor inclines, but we can stop as often as you like.

The paths at the National Botanic Garden of Wales are very well kept and there is wheelchair access across the site. 

Of course, birds and animals are a fantastic experience and way to learn for anyone.

If you require a carer, you can bring one with you as a spectator on your experience free. Please let us know when you book. 

 

If it is just a bit drizzly then the hawks will fly fine. If the forecast is for torrential rain, we will contact you beforehand and attempt to rearrange. We want you to have the best experience possible and having heavy rain blurring your photos is not ideal.

The owls will not fly in the rain at all, their feathers are too delicate, and they will just soak up the water and sit in a tree until it stops!

Sorry No.  We would kindly ask our guests not bring dogs on experiences. Even friendly dogs are unable to walk around with us to ensure the safety of the birds. Pets are best left with a friend or at home, not in the car while you fly.

Please note that The National Botanic Garden does not allow dogs unless on a specified doggy day. Please see their website for more details.

click on a question to reveal the answer

Voucher FAQs

You can purchase your gift vouchers online here.

Just click through from any of our flying experiences to be taken to our external booking site.  

It will be emailed to you automatically once you have purchased it online. If your voucher does not come through instantly please remember to check your spam/junk mail.

Please use your unique voucher code on the booking.

Click through from any experience here, click to book and then select the Redeem Voucher button on the right hand side. 

If you have an old style voucher that starts with PF please drop us a message and we’ll get you booked in.

As the vouchers are automated, they are kept on our system, so if you lose your voucher just email us with the details. We will check that everything is valid and either resend it to you or just book you in the diary

Vouchers expire 1 year from the date of purchase.

We advise that you book your experience as soon as you have a suitable date as we get very busy in the summer months and at weekends.

We can extend your voucher for an additional 3 months if it is nearing the expiry date.

There is an administration fee for this process, please email us here

Administration fee

£10 per voucher – Hawk Walk or Owl Encounter

£20 per voucher – Half Day

£30 per voucher – Full Day

We regret that once a vouchers expires you are not able to be redeemed or extended it.

For this reason we recommend using your vouchers as soon as possible, once you have purchased/received them.

Of course, just let us know when you email and you can pay the difference when you book.

No, we would kindly ask our guests not bring dogs on experiences, even friendly dogs. They will be unable to walk around with us to ensure the safety of the birds. Pets are best left with a friend or at home, not in the car while you

Birds of Prey