AN EVENT that brought college students up close with birds of prey proved a soaring success.

Owls, hawks and kestrels were among the birds on display at Derwen College, near Oswestry, during a falconry display organised by a nature-loving student.

Wem-based Shropshire Falconry was contacted by a horticulture student at the specialist college for young adults with learning difficulties and disabilities.

He telephoned the company after he saw a falconry demonstration at a show and decided to plan an event of his own.

The student liaised with Lisa Scattergood, centre manager at Shropshire Falconry, along with Derwen College staff to make his ambition a reality.

Lisa and Shropshire Falconry owner Steve Cross to display and exhibit on the college’s sports pitch.

Each of the 40 students who attended were given the chance to handle and fly the birds of prey.

Birds at the experience included a barn owl, white-faced owl, saker falcon, Bengal eagle owl, a kestrel and Jasper the baby eagle owl.

Lisa, who worked in education before becoming a falconer 10 years ago, said she thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

“I think we gained as much from the students as they got from us,” she added.

“I love my job and sharing my enthusiasm for our birds, and it was lovely to be asked so many questions and to see students so engaged.

“I hope we will be able to work with Derwen College more in the future through our different educational and family displays.”