I have had a keen interest in wildlife from an early age, I have many happy memories of long walks with my parents along the river Ouse observing birds, water voles and Rabbits hopping along the hedgerow.
As I got older other things became more important the walks became less frequent and my work became my focus as did my social life as a teenager.
It was not until I was in my mid-twenties that my interest was re-ignited when my wife and I moved into Milton Ernest, With the river Ouse just across the field this became my regular walk with Joseph my border collie and it was not long before I saw the early morning Kingfisher competing with the heron for breakfast the hares boxing in the fields if I was lucky I may see an otter disappearing down the river bank and the smell of the early morning dew on the grass and crops I was hooked again.
It was around the same time that a chance meeting led me to become involved in falconry something else that fascinated me as a boy, the majestic birds of prey the staring eyes of an owl, led me into the secret world of the raptor, I have owned and flown many birds of prey since that chance meeting, my other interest was snakes, spiders and lizards. I have memories as a boy, of going into the local pet shop and watching the garter snakes wishing I could own one, catching frogs and newts at a local stream and collecting as many spiders as I could find and keeping them all in an old fish tank in my bedroom much to my mum’s disgust. Little did I realise that it was the start of my interest in reptiles, arachnids, amphibians and arthropods.
It was not until my son started school I realised that many children never got or get to see much of our native wildlife let alone exotic animals. I always had pets as a child and I always wanted more (I Recall my dad saying to me you can have as many animals as you want when you have you own home) little did he or I know that I would end up owning nearly 60 different species of animal.
So here we are summer of 2016 and I am looking to return to work following a long period of ill health thinking to myself what can I do that won’t cause too much stress, that I want to get up for everyday and enjoy and that is when Urban Safari was born.
Fast forward to January 2017 Urban Safari is up and running it’s not complete it is still evolving and it will get better but we are doing it taking the animals to many different places and events, The look on the children’s faces when they see a Barn owl up close for the first time or hold the corn snake and cuddle a skunk, Watching the fear in someone’s eyes disappear when they realise the tarantula is not that scary after all and wow the snakes not slimy. It is not a job it’s a lifestyle that makes me smile every day and if Urban Safari can put a smile on at least one face every time we go to an event then I am achieving what I set out to do.