CHILDREN were given the chance to try their hand at the sport of kings during a special lesson recently.

Home-schooled children from across the Swindon area enjoyed a taste of the wild life when Judith Wrighte of Falconry for Schools ran a Meet the Birds day at All Saints’ Church Hall on Southbrook Street.

Around 40 children, aged between four and 10-years-old and from the Swindon Home Educators (SHEd) group, were given the chance to get hands-on with a falcon, vulture and eagle owl during the session. They also learned all about the diet and habits of birds of prey as well as the history of falconry during their interactive lesson with their feathered friends.

Organiser Katie Mabberley, whose six-year-old daughter Lily was part of the group who was able to get up close and personal with the raptors, said: “They had a fantastic time and all the little ones were really engaged with what Judith was saying.

“It was really interactive – they got to hold the vulture on a glove and to feed the birds. I think a number of them were inspired to try falconry again and we hope to invite Judith back to see us again next year.”

Judith Wrighte runs Alula Falconry in Hampshire and is one of several experts who run sessions at schools through the Countryside Alliance’s Falconry for Schools programme.