New website & moving forward

New logo

So the new website is live and what a job it has been bringing it to you. We wanted to rebrand slightly so picked yellow to go with our blue and white and then had a new logo made. As we want to focus on education we also wanted the website to appeal to younger visitors and have created a fantastic new kids section.

A lot of the old site got transferred and refreshed as I felt there was so much good information on birds of prey people had enjoyed reading in the past. Much of it is still very relevant so we updated some bits and will continue to do so – if you find any anomalies please let us know. I just need to also take the chance you publicly thank Ben Locke for all his incredible work on the site, he’s been a star to work with and has worked wonders.

One of the biggest additions to the website is the shop with our much anticipated nest boxes. We are super proud of the nest boxes, it’s not an area new to us but we have tweaked a few designs and are working with an incredibly talented and equally passionate craftsman to bring them to you. Nest boxes are just a small part of what we want to achieve in our education and conservation goals in the near future. We have a very exciting nest box production on going so watch this space.

We will also be pushing future events and talks so you can keep up-to date on here via the blog and events page and of course social media platforms Facebook & Instagram. We have two major school projects we want to push on with including a school nest box scheme and owl pellet dissection project – we hope to create contacts with several like minded UK conservation charities to collaborate with. If you know of any schools or groups who would like to work with us or for us to give a talk to again just let us know or pass on our details.

I would also like Raptor Aid to remain true to its roots as a point of interest for news on birds of prey around the world. Once upon a time Raptor Aid was just a blog on bird of prey news written by myself a few times a month with all manner of bird of prey related content. I will aim to honour this via the website blog as it was always fascinating for me to share news and had a great following. That said i’m also looking at how we can embrace new areas of media to share news, one being a podcast. I have tried videos and You Tube and these have a place but I often find unless super professional they can be arduous to sit through from a viewers position. I also love plugging in my headphones and listening to a good podcast whilst I’m driving or mowing the grass. I’ll have a go at it and see how it comes out.

Other news includes the creation of a full blown Peregrine Watch Point in Chester, I say full blown because we tried a pop up one last season for four weekends and it was very popular. This year with the support of Waitrose Chester, CPUK construction, Robertson’s construction and a wonderful team of volunteers we have so far ran a watch point from May to hopefully the end of August. The new nest box was installed onto the shot tower in Chester and the birds took to it immediately producing four eggs of which 3 successfully hatched and subsequently all 3 chicks have fledged. If you know anyone who wants to help volunteer on the watch point in Chester we’re still after volunteers.

Two of 2019 juveniles ready for take off -Colin Jones (c)

I will write a separate blog with a round up to the monitoring season and where and what we got up to from Cheshire, Gloucestershire and North Wales. It’s not quite over yet with my personal favourite species the Hobby still to monitor and we need to wrap up the outcome of a couple of late Peregrine pairs.

Globally 2019 has been a quite year, we have made some good contacts and there is no shortage of projects for us to support but personal endeavours such as getting married, renovating a farm house and running the family business have taken a precedent this year. The feet are very much getting itchy for the finish of the farm house and the passport will then be dusted off!

It’s worth pointing out at this point that Raptor Aid is still comprised of three trustee’s, we do have others in mind who we think will bring immense value to our work but the driving force day to day is myself. Non of us draw an income from the charity and won’t for the foreseeable future, I don’t even charge travel expenses and still fund many things including international travel out of my own pocket. We are now registered for Gift Aid and with PayPal meaning any donations will go much further and you can rest assured that it will be used for birds of prey. I won’t lie though it still irks me when people think you run a charity to get tax benefits or pay for your hobby/passion – trust me it would be so much less stressful to not have a charity and carry on quietly as before.

I will sign off by saying thank you for your continued support if you have kept track of Raptor Aid and if you are a new follower welcome to the mad house, we hope you enjoy your stay!

Yours in raptors,

Jimmi – Founder & Trustee