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Screech Owl Sanctuary (Cornwall)

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3 Reviews

Near Indian Queens, Goss Moor, St. Columb,Cornwall,TR9 6HP.
Tel. +44 (0) 1726 860182. E-Mail. cscreech@owlsanct.freeserve.co.uk
The centre is open from 10am daily. Winter opening (November until end February). Weekends and school holidays. Admis

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    3 Reviews
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      01.10.2012 17:57
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      Highly recommended sanctuary which offers once in a lifetime experiences of getting close to owls!

      This September in the midst of our four day holiday in Cornwall me and my partner found Screech Owl Sanctuary. Eventually. Screech Owl Sanctuary is an amazing sanctuary however It is very easy to miss the turning if you miss the single sign. Me and my partner spent about thirty minutes travelling up and down the area trying to find the turning. If you take a peek at the other reviews they have some great directions if you make a habit of getting lost like myself!. Thankfully we weren't disappointed when we finally found the sanctuary. A a discreet place it is settled down the end of a quiet country lane. The price has increased since the other reviewers went there and it currently stands at £8.95 for adults ,£8.25 for senior citizens, £6.95 for children, or for a family ticket for two adults and two children it is £27. Whichever one you choose you get a small sticker to show you've paid. When you first enter the sanctuary you will be met with the gift shop. A lovely small gift shop which has gifts from mugs or calenders to even a stuffed souvinier of the owls you may of seen.You can also chose to purchase a guided tour if you so wish. Once you've settled on what to buy you can finally venture out to the owls. There are many many various types of owls in the sanctuary, most of them on display in their well-built enclosures. There are other owls which are behind the scenes in the Sanctuary's hospital, a place where they heal and rehabilitate injured or orphaned owls. Fortunately for the owl's benefit , this area is off limits to the public. However if you wish to get closer you can head over to the close encounters area where there will be a member of staff who will hold an owl and allow you to touch or pet it. The staff are polite and eager to help, with a great sense of humor. Feel free to ask them anything you like about the owls. All of these owls are hand tame with the public and you are quite safe to pet them when the keeper offers. There were quite a few different species on show in this area when we arrived. At certain points in the day there are displays ,something we were lucky enough to experience when we attended the sanctuary. We had the pleasure of meeting a small bird of prey , one of the other animals which are also at the owl sanctuary, who showed off her catching in the air skills. The other bird we had the pleasure of watching at the display was Voicey, a beautiful eighteen week old Great grey owl. We had met her breifly outside her enclosure when she kept squawking at us and trying to figure out what my shiny iPod was. Dispite her young age this owl was huge and already an amazing flyer. Unfortunately for the keeper, who had raised her from an owlet, she had a short spurt of listening to him and then got a little distracted. This is quite common for young owls who like children have short attention spans and are a little stubborn. I'm sure Voicey will become an excellent display bird when shes older. When you've walked around the owls you come across two emus (which i wouldn't get to close to!), and then two friendly goats, who love a little bit of grass and if your lucky will follow you around until you reach the next pen which is the meerkcat enclosure, where five happy meerkats are housed. As you continue on the walk you will come across three lovely shetlands and some beautiful alpacas. When you've finally finished the tour there is a great play area for children whilst you nip into the cafe which has a fabulous selection of tea, cakes or milkshakes. If you would like to help the sanctuary then in person or via the website you can either donate to them, or if your able, sponsor one of the owls at £50. It can be a little expensive but this is to be expected and quite understandable, as this is a small sanctuary which is doing an amazing job of looking after, or rehabilitating many Owls,horses,alpacas,meerkats,emus and other birds of prey and the upkeep of them cannot be cheap. I hope you've found my review helpful, I'd highly recommend visiting Screech Owl Sanctuary , I am sure you wouldn't regret it.

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      12.04.2001 17:49
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      The Screech Owl Sanctuary is fantastic. Even if you only ‘like’ owls, you will be impressed by this place. For Owl lovers I’m sure you will be delighted with the range of species you can see and also the work that is undertaken here. I’m finding it hard to decide where to start…. Here goes… The Screech Owl Sanctuary is so called because it is owned by Mr and Mrs Screech. Yes, that is their real name and not some sort of marketing ploy! Purpose Screech’s purpose is not just to let the public look at and touch the owls; it also rehabilitates animals involved in accidents or that have been neglected, gives homes to owls from private collections and is involved in various breeding programmes. Owls from as far as Siberia have been sent to the sanctuary for breeding, and if successful, most of the chicks, if not all, will be sent back. The sanctuary works on a policy that if a bird is tame (that is it is hand bred and has not attacked anyone) it will be kept at the sanctuary for display purposes. The aim is to have two birds of each variety to display, thus, some of the chicks hatched here will be brought up to show to the public. Having two birds of each breed allows rotation so the birds don’t get too tired. If the animal is wild, or unfit to display (for example if it has attacked someone) it will be released eventually. Recently, a number of owls were donated by a private collector who had had a heart attack and was no longer able to look after the birds. These birds are now being looked after by the people at screech who are gradually getting the birds used to being handled by people other than their previous owner. Many of the wild owls that have been disabled in accidents have a ‘private’ area where the public can’t go. From the description provided to us, this seemed to be a recovery area for those who weren’t as seriously injured, and a so rt of disabled area for those birds that would not return to the wild. Here there are ladders and planks so that they can get around their enclosure, and places to hide and I suppose nest. Shop, Tour and Handling So, those are the purposes of the sanctuary. Visitors are taken through the shop (where car stickers, calendars, pens, broaches, badges, mugs, wall hanging, notepads, placemats and other reminders can be bought) through to the main part of the sanctuary. From here the time you spend can go two different ways, depending on when you arrive. You will either go straight to the owl handling session or on a guided tour of the owls. The tours are great. When I went in March, a number of the birds were nesting or had chicks. The tour guide told us about each owls nesting behaviour and how they would bring up their young. I won’t provide all the details here because this is an opinion about the sanctuary and not about the breeding activities of different owl species!!! The guides all have a great in depth knowledge of the birds, some even have very close bonds with them. The girl we were shown around by had hand bred one of the owls and subsequently it built nests for her and also would snuggle up into her hair whilst on her shoulder. The owls from the private collection I mentioned earlier are not used to sitting on gloves, so they will behave for a while but eventually they will let go and fall off, playing dead. Also there is one owl who barks like a dog, and another who torments the Screech’s dog by playing with a ball in it’s enclosure! You can ask questions at any point, and you are almost guaranteed an answer… that is how good they are! During the handling sessions you can find out more about a variety of owls (these change visit by visit) and also touch most of them. Usually the owls in this part include: Barn Owls (one of them doesn’t like children or small adults so you may not be able to st roke him), Snowy Owls, Little Owls and Tawny Owls. Other, rare species may also be available to stroke, for example the Indian Scops Owls. Location, Cost, Website The sanctuary can be found near the Goss Moor on the A30. Travel towards St Mawgan Airport and Blackacre, and you will be getting close. I’m hopeless with directions, but next time I go I will take notes. There is a map on their website in the meantime. Here you will also find more information about the owls, purposes of the sanctuary and much much more, then you can come back here and correct me if I am wrong! The site can be found at www.owlsanct.freeserve.co.uk The centre is open all year round from 10 am. With the recent foot and mouth crisis it may well be worth checking the centre is open by ringing 01726 860182 although at the height of the crisis we were still able to visit. The entry fee is cheep (almost a pun) at about £3.50 for adults and £1.50 for children as I recall. The money goes towards the upkeep of the owls etc. Donations are also welcomed and you can sponsor an owl personally for £25 per year (for which you will receive a certificate, picture of your owl and 2 adult passes) or a company can pay £50 +VAT (you will get a certificate and plaque at the site for your advertising). The entry fee can be cheepened (sorry, couldn’t resist) further by purchasing a copy of the Cornish Guardian. Enclosed weekly is a voucher to get half price entry for one adult, or a special handling session for a child. I’m not sure how much the Guardian is, but I can find out and update this opinion later. OK, enough already… I have a headache and I have done no work all morning, I apologise if the spelling is lousy but I will sort it all out later! I hope I haven’t bored you and that this is of some use to you! Please go, it’s a fantastic way to spend an afternoon or a morning.

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        27.08.2000 04:07
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        Everyone else is reviewing Cornwall on a whole, so you’ll likely know every ‘traditional’ destination, so I’m going to review an attraction that not a whole many people know about, The Screech Owl Sanctuary. Firstly I’ll try and tell you where it is, although my Geography isn’t great. The address is Trewin farm, Gross Moor, Nr. Indian Queens, Cornwall, however you’ll never find it like that. You can get to it following signs however you have to be on the main road between Plymouth and Redruth (A38 I think). Not long after Bodmin and as you approach Indian Queens there is only one sign post, so look out for it, I don'’ know which junction but there’s a newly built Mac Donalds just after it. From there you should find your way but I'll leave the telephone number at the end so you can ring them. It’s quite a small place but it does some excellent work. It has about 30 or 40 owls there, most of whom have been rescued. I didn’t think they would keep my children interested but there are displays, feeding time and Mr. Screech (Who runs the place) will bring them real close to you. What I like best though is that it isn’t commercialised, last time I went it was free but now they ask for donations. It’s also very informative about how the birds hunt, why they get injured etc. Be warned though I actually had to buy my children an owl, well adopt one for a year, which cost £20. However it’s fun, it’s cheap and it’s pretty easy going on children and parents. Please don’t bring dogs though because they owls will attack them. Screech Owl Sanctuary 01726 860182 I’d also like to give a quick mention to Dobwalls Theme Park near Liskeard, the best day out we’ve had for a long time, You’ll find a leaflet on it at most tourist offices in the Southwest. Be warned it’s not a traditional theme park, no rides just fort s and obstacle course and play areas, don’t discount it – it’s wonderful and fairly priced.

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