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Owl Sanctuary, Ebbw Vale, Gwent

Submitted by Jennifer Coates Updated 2005-02-08 Created 2004-01-14

It's Jennifer Coates here, I absolutely love The Owl Pages, and visit whenever I can. I am still painting owls all the time, and they sell at online auction when possible.

I am emailing simply to let you know about a little owl sanctuary in south Wales, UK. It's such a fantastic place that I just wanted to share it with everyone, and to let any UK visitors to the Owl Pages know about it, and visit if they possibly can.

[Edit 2005-02-08] They now have a website at www.theowlsanctuary.co.uk

The sanctuary is in Ebbw Vale, Gwent, and it is run by a man called Malcolm. He doesn't charge a penny for entry into the sanctuary, you are free to donate anything you might wish to, whatever you can afford. All his owls are rescued birds which have suffered some horrible fate, or been injured at some time, and Malcolm takes them in and looks after them . Because of their previous circumstances, none of the owls can be released into the wild, so they are given a fantastic, comfortable life at the centre. They are also highly valuable from an educational point of view, with many children and adults visiting them and learning about them. Flying displays are sometimes given on weekends, and some of the more people-friendly birds are brought out and allowed to be handled. This is such a fantastic experience for anyone, to handle such a beautiful creature, and a fantastic way to learn about these amazing birds.

The centre hosts most of the British owl species, and more, including a gorgeous pair of Red-tailed Hawks and a beautiful pair of Buzzards. (For anyone non-European or non-birder, buzzards are not vultures, they are hawks of the genus Buteo, and the British species is Buteo buteo). Boobook Owls, Great Horned Owls, Little Owl, Snowy Owls, Tawny Owls, European Eagle Owls, Bengal Eagle Owls and Barn Owls all reside at the centre.

I always try and encourage visitors because the sanctuary fell on hard times recently due to a new European law that was introduced. The sanctuary was asked to put up a large fence all the way around it - either that or it would be closed down. They didn't have the money for it, and so had to go on the local Welsh news to appeal for donations. They collected enough in the end and were able to erect the fence not long ago.

How to Get There:
The owl sanctuary is in a little area of woodland which you get to by going through the Festival Park Shopping Centre in Ebbw Vale. It's signposted and easy to find, the address for anyone wanting to visit is :

Festival Park Factory Shopping Village
Ebbw Vale
Gwent
NP23 8FP

The owl sanctuary actually has nothing to do with the shopping centre, but it's the only way to reach it. There's directions on the website Here also.

It's only a small place, but really fascinating and well worth a visit.

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