Travel & Tourism Awards 2021

Page 40 LUX 2021 Travel & Tourism Awards Willow’s Bird of Prey Centre has accumulated over 30 years of experience in Falconry over its time in operation. With a vast array of birds under its care, all of which it looks after with its empathic and attentive staff, visitors can see all manner of creatures taking flight around the beautifully maintained grounds. In an idyllic location in rural Kent, Willow’s is nestled in a nature trail that spans 22 acres of land at Coolings Lifestyle. It prides itself on being a day out that will ensure all customers leave with smiles on their faces whilst keeping conservation and animal welfare at the heart of its business. To this end, its experience days give its customers a day out like no other, where they can form a personal connection with the birds of prey they see and gain a true appreciation of their splendour. It has garnered a lot of favour in the local community for the excellence of its work and the good it does for its feathered denizens, and amongst its guests the quality of its services has secured it many a return customer. Consequentially, its online reviews and word of mouth advertising is exemplary, with many visitors going away having had their expectations met and exceeded by the passion and friendliness of Willow’s team. It also ensures that it has excellent facilities and amenities available during opening hours, allowing its guests to have a relaxing and fun day without worrying about the logistical side of things as much. The Blueberry Café, a food and drink rest stop on site, is a contemporary cafeteria style establishment found at the Coolings Lifestyle part of its site. It takes pride in the bright, welcoming atmosphere that it creates within, cultivating a family-friendly haven for its guests to take a break from the excitement. It uses only the freshest produce to create delicious and satisfying food with a focus on sourcing local ingredients to support small businesses and producers in the region. Both Coolings Lifestyle and the nature trail that Willows is a part of are wheelchair A bird of prey conservation and experience centre set in a picturesque rural environment, Willow’s Bird of Prey Centre’s mission is twofold. Alongside providing memorable days out for its guests, it wishes to improve conservation efforts up and down the UK. Dec20478 Willows Bird of Prey Centre Best Family Day Out 2021 - Sevenoaks accessible, with disabled toilets located on site to ensure that all its guests can partake in its experiences in comfort. As well as its work looking after the wellbeing of the birds that call its centre home, Willow’s is an active participant in the conservation efforts of birds of prey on a national level – it works hard to ensure conservation is a priority of its operational model both within its centre and in the wild. During demonstrations and through answering visitor’s questions, as well as creating learning resources and plaques that guide its guests around the site, it seeks to educate and inform. In this way, it raises awareness for the plight facing some birds of prey species in the wild today. It makes its visitors aware of the issues at hand, working to protect its birds and inspire people to take up ways to help protect both native and non- native species. All visits need to be pre-booked and pre-paid, in accordance with social distancing laws, even annual pass holders – this allows it to manage the number of visitors per day and keep both people and animals safe. As the entrance to the nature trail is through the garden shop, selling a number of garden centre products as well as novelty gifts, guests may be asked to wait for a short time, but it aims to keep this wait as short as possible. As well as daytime visits for individuals and families, it also offers school visits and interactive learning experiences that allow for an immersive trip into the natural world, introducing pupils to its over 60 birds of prey of around 30 different species. It also offers beginner courses in falconry, corporate days, and party packages. Company: Willows Bird of Prey Centre Contact: Karl Robertson Website: