Here’s the place for anything and everything no matter how random – you’ll find us living the good life and getting up to all kinds of things. Don’t be afraid to post and let us know what you’re thinking.

Hawking around!

Rus and andy

 

If you have been following Wimbledon, you may have come across the name ‘Rufus The Hawk’. Not a comical nickname for one of the players, Rufus is a 6 year old male Harris Hawk, who works for the family business Avian Environmental Consultants based in Brigstock, Northamptonshire. Rufus works at Wimbledon with his handlers Donna and Imogen to prevent pigeons from causing any interruptions and distractions during play, which is of the utmost importance in such a demanding game!

 

Harris Hawks are designed for weaving in and out of shrubs and woodland, and are renowned for being stealthy in flight, therefore lending themselves perfectly to weaving in between the courts and the girders up in the roof. The presence of a Harris Hawk is effective as the pigeons realise it is not a safe place for them to roost, and simply relocate elsewhere. In the wild, Harris Hawks are one of the only birds who hunt in their family groups, working together to flush out their prey, and our relationship is exactly the same – Rufus flushes out any birds within the vicinity of Wimbledon and then returns for a reward, usually of chicken or quail. Rufus is a wild animal and likes to remind us that every day he will work on his own accord, and as long as we fly him at his optimum flying weight of 1lb 6oz, we know that he will return to us at the end of his flight.

 

Working with a variety of of birds of prey dependent on the location and problem species, Donna and Imogen provide non-lethal, environmentally-friendly bird control solutions in a range of locations across London and the Midlands including the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Westminister Abbey, Northampton Saints Rugby Club, Billingsgate Fish Market, the Royal Marsden Hospital, TATA Steel and many more. Alongside the bird control services, Donna and Imogen also hold hawking and falconry days, educational visits and environmental monitoring services.

 

Rufus has received increased exposure in recent years, and now has over 7000 followers on his twitter account @RufusTheHawk where he gives sneak peeks of behind the scenes at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships – even being lucky enough to meet Andy Murray.

Read more about Imogen, Donna and Rufus http://www.avianenvironmental.co.uk/

 Rufus blog pic

 

School’s out!

School’s out, so it’s time to get ready for the summer holidays. From shire to shore there are plenty of places to fill the days full of fun for the whole family.

Below are a few of our favourites…

 

Jimmys farm

Jimmy’s Farm in Ipswich is a fantastic place to take the family for the day. It offers an array of activities, from petting the animals to building dens in the woods to learning to fish in the pond. There will also be an array of kids’ activities happening every day throughout the summer holidays from 24th July 2014. Be sure not to miss the Sausage and Beer Festival where the Joules team will be out and about.

Visit http://jimmysfarm.com/ for more information

 

Fruit farm

Hendrewennol Fruit Farm is a fabulous place for family fun. Re-launching this year the farm is open all summer long for fruit-picking fun in the sun and classic country adventures. There is a new children’s play area with bales of hay to jump around in as well as a tea shop which promises the best Welsh cream tea for miles around. In July they open their Maize Maze where families can follow trails and crack quizzes as they wind their way around. A-mazing.

http://www.hendrewennol.com

old hall

Washington Old Hall hosts its Nature Nuttery and Build a Nature Habitat workshop every Monday of the school holidays  (6 dates between 21 July 2014 and 25 August 2014, Washington, Tyne and Wear) This is a free event where kids can investigate bugs and creepy crawlies helping to build a bug hotel in the gardens of the twelfth century manor house.

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/washington-old-hall/

catle

Hever Castle in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, is hosting a number of Summer Jousting Tournaments on various dates from 19th July to 31 August. Families are invited to marvel at the event which begins with a procession headed by none other than King Henry VIII followed by a thrilling display of traditional sword-fighting, chivalry and glory.

http://www.hevercastle.co.uk/

 

science museum

Science Museum – South Kensington - There are over 15,000 objects on display, including world-famous objects such as the Apollo 10 command capsule and Stephenson’s Rocket. Interactive galleries bring to life first scientific principles and contemporary scientific debates. http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/

 

lickey hills

Lickey Hills and Sculpture Trail – Birmingham Take the kids on nature trails and guided walks or play in the adventure playground. Introduce the children to art via impressive sculptures which include the beautiful hermaphrodite Spirit of the Woods. http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/lickeyhills

 

letterboxing

Letterboxing on Dartmoor – Dartmoor Similar to orienteering, letterboxing is a great way to discover the spectacular scenery of Dartmoor. Letterboxes are hidden around the moors famous Tors (massive granite features) and can be found in cracks and crevices between the rocks. A box normally contains a stamp and a visitors book so take a notepad and some ink (included in the letterbox) to claim evidence of your findings.

http://www.dartmoorletterboxing.org/

 

little joule collection

Our new collection is perfect for any family adventure