Euan Naylor & Jenny Sandiford at the Quiraing, Skye
Flying start for island venture
A young couple who met while working with birds of prey in
Northumberland have brought their experience and interest in their
feathered friends to the Isle of Skye.
Euan Naylor (22) and his partner
Jenny Sandiford (21) have based themselves at Kensaleyre, near Uig, on
the north end of the island along with a collection of owls, hawks and
They have seven different species,
ranging from a barn owl, Harris hawk to a Saker falcon. All have been
hand-reared and none taken from the wild.
The couple aim to expand into a
large falconry centre. The venture has been made possible with help from
the Prince's Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT) and Skye and Lochalsh
Enterprise - both financially and with advice for a small business.
Euan has worked with falcons since
the age of 10, following in his father's footsteps. he helped build and
worked at the
Kielder Water Bird of Prey Centre in Northumberland.
It was there he met Jenny who was
employed in a summer job while completing her national diploma in land
use and recreation. She also has a conservation background, having
worked with the RSPB at Haweswater on golden eagle nest watches.
Eventually the pair teamed up and
decided it was time to work for themselves. Skye offered that
opportunity with a family home on the island.
Jenny said: "The response from
businesses and organisations on Skye has been nothing short of
overwhelming, particularly from the likes of hotels who are interested
in running courses in falconry."
As well as flying for sport and
pleasure, Isle of Skye Falconry plans to promote awareness through
schools and tours, enabling youngsters and the public to understand
conservation of these species and their environment.
News Group, August 24, 2002
Tourists get chance to meet the
killers of Skye
by Bob King
A young couple in Skye are giving visitors the chance of a walk on the
wild side with a difference - with a variety of birds of prey.
Euan Naylor, 22, who has worked with
falcons since he was 10, and his partner Jenny Sandiford, 21, have set
up Skye Falconry at Kensaleyre, near Uig.
The falconry, which received backing
from the Prince's Scottish Youth Business Trust, has seven different
species of predators including a Saker falcon, a Harris hawk and a barn
Others are a Lanner falcon, a
kestrel, a buzzard and a tawny owl.
The Isle of Skye Falconry builds on
Mr Naylor's experience at
Northumberland's Kielder Water Bird of Prey Centre, which he helped
to set up and where he worked for 2 years.
Ms Sandiford has a conservation
background, having worked with the Royal Society for the Protection of
Birds at Haweswater on 24 and 48-hour golden eagle nest watches.
While completing her national
diploma in land use and recreation, she found summer and spare time work
with Mr Naylor at the Northumberland centre.
The couple decided to move to Skye,
where Mr Naylor's parents have a retirement home, because nobody else
has a falconry project on the island.
They moved in May and are currently
finishing housing for the birds which should be completed this week.
Ms Sandiford said: "The idea is to
allow people to have a hands-on experience with the birds, look at the
basics of falconry and learn how to fly the birds.
"Visitors spend the morning
familiarising themselves with the birds and their equipment then, in the
afternoon, we take them out in the field to fly them."
Ms Sandiford said she and her
partner run a course for children and a hawk walk for three hours which
concentrates on the Harris hawk.
Another course dealing with raptor
management takes up to three days and is aimed at people who want to
have their own birds.
The courses are aimed at anybody
interested in the subject from tourists who fancy something different to
She said: "We also give
demonstrations to schools and hotel guests and take part in special
events such as gala days. We are hoping also to get involved in films."
The couple received £2,000 grant and
loan assistance from the Prince's Scottish Youth Business Trust as well
as £1,000 grant from Skye and Lochalsh Enterprise and a business
& Journal, August 21, 2002
Trust Spreads its Wings
HELPING A BUSINESS FLY: The Isle of Skye Falconry Centre is one of
the more remote ventures to receive the backing of the Prince's Scottish
Youth Business Trust. Euan Naylor, a 22-year-old who developed an
interest in falconry when he was 10, and Jenny Sandiford, his
21-year-old partner, aim to promote not only the ancient sport of
falconry but also conservation of the species and its habitat. The
falconry centre is based at the north end of the island near Uig.
August 21, 2002