How the years have flown by, I first met Jasper at the age of 12 at the local agricultural show in my home town Todmorden, he along with his handler David are the reason I am where I am today.
After that first chance to hold a bird of prey on a gloved hand at the show, I was lucky to be introduced to David and Jasper through my scout leader a couple of years later. My fascination grew and prompted me to read as many books on birds of prey as I could get hold of and I became a font of all theoretical knowledge on the subject (at least that’s what I thought.) Then came the cantankerous buzzard Jasper who was all beak and feet and wasn’t afraid to use them on a rather clumsy would be young falconer!
At the age of 16, myself with Buzzard in tow headed for North Yorkshire to work at a falconry centre (I had always told my careers advisor at school that was the plan), Jasper came into his own learning to slope and soar on the prevailing westerly winds whilst I watched on. Having served my apprenticeship, we headed for the Lakes to work here at the park. Jasper having developed his skills, would patrol the skies above the park for the next 20 years, getting in many a scrape with the wild Buzzards. He would regularly soar so high until he was a speck always returning to a gloved hand for food. Although capable of hunting for himself he rarely did, always preferring the easy life of food on the glove.