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My name is Alec Shearer, I have been a professional falconer most of my working life ..............

It started when I was 10 years old as a child in a small village in Bedfordshire, I was the one that looked after wildlife that had been injured in some way or another, a young Tawny Owl was struck by a car and was brought to me, luckily it soon recovered but that was the moment I fell in love with these majestic creatures of the air.
Since then my career and passion has evolved around these birds over the years. I have worked at many Falconry Centres flying and caring for all types of raptors from Little Owls to Golden Eagles.      

I  have flown and displayed Birds of Prey at most major County & Country Shows over the years in the U.K and Northern Ireland.
I have also supplied birds for T.V and films and been on many radio shows over the years.

I am a registered LANTRA falconry assessor & a member of the  British Falconers Club

We now live in beautiful Suffolk and you may find me flying birds of prey at Africa Alive during the summer months.
I am very lucky to be able to say that I fly Birds of Prey for a living on a daily basis and feel privileged to be in their company.
If I had to pick one group of birds as a favorite it would have to be the Falcons, the sheer speed and maneuverability is breathtaking !!
I  hope you find what you are looking for here?
If you need Feral Bird Control, a day or half day out flying the birds in the lovely Suffolk/Norfolk Countryside or maybe you want to start a journey that will change your life forever and learn how to keep, manage, train and fly a bird of prey in a safe and professional manner.


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Alistair Phillips is a self-taught wood turner, living and working in the Chiltern Hills in South Oxfordshire.  He specialises in bowls and plates, with an emphasis on making pieces suitable for table-ware.  He graduated from Rading University in 2004 with a BSc (Hons) in Landscape Management.

Virtually all of his timber is sourced from within the Chiltern Hills area, from local sawmills in Henley and Woodcote, from private woodlands, and from local Nature Reserves managed by the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust.  Woods used include beech, ash, oak, cherry, sweet chestnut, elm, holly, cedar-of-lebanon, yew, birch, field maple and sycamore.

The coracles are likewise made from timber milled in local sawmills.  Coracle frames are predominantly made from ash, though beech, oak and hazel are agreeable alternatives.  The fram is covered with a skin of calico that receives three coats of bitmen paint to waterproof it.

Aside from woodturning he has worked on a diverse selection of projects, including living willow fencing in school grounds, design and construction of iron age round-houses, yurt building and rustic chair making.  He also makes didgeridoos (Australian wind instrument).

His interests include wildlife photography and nature conservation, unicycling, basket making and green woodwork.

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Andrea and Paul have been married for seventeen years and during that time have spent many hours involved in country pursuits.

First meeting through horse riding, Andrea would accompany Paul into the shooting field and onto the foreshore for wildfowling.  It was while Paul was running his own shoot, that the couple witnessed the flight of a Falcon during a mornings hunting with a local falconer and the passion for falconry grew from there. One bird turned into many and now Andrea takes the birds into educational environments linking falconry into the National Curriculum and also offers courses in falconry and also gundog training.  Pauls expertise lies in hunting with his Goshawks and Harris Hawks.

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Andrea works with several different birds of prey and gives demonstrations to schools etc.  She lives in Suffolk and trained as a veterinary nurse.

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Anna Conti has been taking on commissions for homes, schools, churches,
public buildings and businesses for over 20 years. While studying a degree
in Industrial Design, Anna's imagination was caught by contemporary stained
glass. Without hesitation she moved to Chelsea School of Art to study it in
more detail. Since then she's been working in both traditional and
contemporary designs and takes on renovation work. 'It's the sheer beauty of

light falling through coloured glass with it's bubbles and imperfections

that never ceases to amaze and fascinate me......I never get tired of my

She also runs courses teaching one to one to groups of children and adults
of all abilities.

Her work can be found in Europe and America.

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Anne Holden ran her own furniture restoration and cabinet making business for many years.  She studied furniture design and technology at the London College of Furniture, gaining a distinction, and furniture restoration with Don Frost, in Chelmsford, where she was fortunate to inherit techniques and philosophies handed down from master to apprentice over many generations.  She has taught council-run adult education classes in furniture restoration for about ten years.

Latterly, she devised and initiated the traditional building skills practical courses for the Historic Buildings & Conservation section of Essex County Council, together with the lottery-funded traditional building skills days for primary schoolchildren.. 

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Anne Holden is the chief executive and bottle washer at Assington Mill.

If you would like a gift voucher to print out, please contact her:  [email protected], or 01787 229955.

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Anne Schwegmann-Fielding is a well renowned British Sculptor and Mosaic Artist. She has been working on public and private commissions since the early 1990’s creating panels and sculptures for hospitals, businesses, gardens, schools and homes. Anne works from her studio in Colchester, Essex

She is fascinated by the re-use and recycling of materials. This is reflected in her work, which focuses on the transformation of everyday objects. Tools and utensils in particular are transformed with the use of broken crockery, shattered glass and jewellery.  She works mainly to commission but also exhibits her work around the country.

Anne has taught a number of courses on mosaic and worked with children, adults and community groups to create both individual and large scale mosaics.

Her use of recycled materials has led to projects in a variety of settings, commissions, clients and projects include:

* Symington Building, Market Harborough

* Kent Library & History Centre, Maidstone

* Channel 4 Kirstie’s Homemade Home, BBC2 Escape to the Country, Fantasy rooms

* European Commission, London – Solo Show “Reincarnated”

* Broomfield, Essex County and Colchester Hospitals,

* Google, Zeitgeist Conference

* Crittall Windows

* Colchester Zoo

* Research residency at Arts Reverie, Gujarat, India

* Residencies at Writtle College and the Gardens of Easton Lodge.

* Barratt Homes, Colchester.

* International Symposium; Thuringen, Germany and Vorsicht Kunst, Meiningen

* London Garden Show, Alexandra Palace (Gold Medal, Best in Show)


Anne exhibits nationally and internationally and has work in private collections.  She is a professional member of BAMM (British Association for Modern Mosaic)


If you would like to discuss your requirements before the course, Anne can be contacted on 01206 870337 or by email [email protected].  Do have a look at her website:


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Barbara has 30 years experience in construction as a roofer, joiner and strawbale builder.

She travelled in the USA and Canada in 1995 on a Winston Churchill Fellowship, researching strawbale building and gaining more experience, adapting techniques she learnt there to make them more suitable for the European climate and, with the help of a Queen Elizabeth Scholarship, incorporated knowledge of traditional crafts such as lime plastering and coppicing into designs and methods to simplify them and make them more sustainable and appropriate for the 21st century.

In 2011 she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by Women in Construction, and in 2009 was named as a Woman of Outstanding Achievement by the UK Resource Centre for Women. Formerly Director of amazonails, she now runs her own company, Straw Works, and is recognised as one of the leading designers of strawbale houses in Europe.

She has been developing techniques and simplifying practice in strawbale building and low impact foundations since 1994 and has direct experience of over 300 builds, with an international reputation for her empowering style of on-site practical training.

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Barbara has kept her own flock of Shetland sheep for 12 years and has been knitting most of her life.  She is passionate about sheep and wool. She has a degree in Agriculture and applied Zoology and worked for the Ministry of Agriculture as an adviser, then as a PR manager for an agricultural company. Time abroad and two children later, she trained as a Special Needs teacher, specialising in learning techniques and giving presentations on how we learn.  ‘Learning has to be fun’ is her philosophy and she tries to apply this to all her teaching.

She now runs a small business selecting and buying coloured Shetland sheep fleeces, having them processed and writing patterns for her range of beginner knitting kits using beautiful natural colours. 

‘I want to inspire others to have a go and start a hobby which is both relaxing and very productive’.

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