The Staff at The National Birds of Prey Centre
The heart of most businesses is the office and that is no exception at The National Birds of Prey Centre. All the information that is required by visitors, and all the other calls that we have at the Centre come into the office. Letters by the score, Electronic mail by the hundreds. Advertising, film work, quotes, insurance, wages, booking of parties, flying demonstrations, falconry experience days etc. etc. you name it, it is done in the office. The office is in the home of the Director Jemima Parry-Jones and she and Sarah Rumble who is the Business Manager spend many hours a day in there, and often will be found working late at night as well.
Sarah joined the team in 1998, she started working in the café and the office and when the previous business manager left, Sarah took over. At first she did not want to be called Business Manager, but much to her fury, people would take more notice of her on the phone if she had a title, so in the end she gave in to pressure! There is no doubt that she brings and has brought a tremendous amount to the Centre and we would be lost without her. She works incredibly hard and takes all the pressure when the director is away.
Katherine is a new but increasingly vital part of the office team and fights her way through the finances and the mail on a daily basis.
Mark Parker is the main man for teaching. He teaches the Falconry Experience Days and the Five Day Falconry Courses, plus the Police Wildlife Officers Course. As he is an ex policeman himself, he is ideally trained to do this. He has been with the Centre for five years and brings a sense of peace and order to us all and to the birds. He also flies the birds on demonstration.
Gary Dyer is our youngest member of the bird team. He started as a volunteer and then came as a day release student. He is now full time with us, and flies the birds on demonstration, helps Mark out on the Falconry Experience Days and is a valued member of the staff.
Annie Miller joined us in 1999. Her background is mainly horses and teaching. But her love of animals in general and birds in particular has made her a vital member of the team. She ran her own business with professional riding for seven years and then taught for three years at Hartpury Agricultural College. She went on a course taught at the college by Mark Parker and became hooked. When we were looking for a new female member of the bird team she jumped at the chance to come and we jumped at the chance to have her.
Martin Foulds joined us as education officer from Linton Zoo. He arrived in 2000 and has fitted in well, apart from not being allowed to do any handy DIY work at which he does not excel. At the moment he is fully engaged in getting the new woodland walk up and running.
Angie Hill is solely in charge of the gardens, although the director does help out on occasion. The gardens have developed enormously in the last few years and well worth seeing in their own right. Plants seem to grow very well in Gloucestershire and the gardens really enhance the Centre enormously. We could not manage without her and the weeds have a field day when she goes on holiday.
Breeze Hale has been in charge of the shop for ever it seems. She joined NBPC just before the present director took over in 1982. She runs the entrance and the shop and knows what sells well and what doesn’t. She keeps the parties under control and generally keeps the Hawk Walk tidy. Apart from the Director she is the longest serving member of staff.
Also in the shop, but at weekends is Jan Stringer. Her cheery and hard working attitude make weekends a pleasure for all of us. She is also willing to turn her hand to almost anything, including cutting the staff’s hair on occasion!
In the café Monica and Judy run things with able assistance from lots of local people who come in part-time. Mary and Sarah Wathan, Ben Sillince, Claire, Vicci, Katy and many others all of whom work very hard in a café that really was not designed to be one!