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Screech Owl Sanctuary

barn owl

Screech Owl Sanctuary: A Hooting Good Time for Families

Nestled amidst the picturesque countryside of Cornwall, the Screech Owl Sanctuary offers an enchanting escape for families seeking a unique and educational adventure. This haven for owls and other fascinating creatures provides a captivating experience that will spark curiosity and delight in young visitors. Embark on a journey through the sanctuary’s tranquil grounds, where you’ll encounter owls of all shapes and sizes, each with their own captivating stories to tell.

baby owls at the screech owl sanctuary

How to find the Screech Owl Sanctuary

The Screech Owl Sanctuary is conveniently located near Indian Queens in Mid Cornwall.

By Car:

The sanctuary is well-signposted from the A30, making it a breeze to find. Free on-site parking is available, ensuring a stress-free start to your family outing.

By public transport:

You can catch a bus to Indian Queens Industrial Estate or the village which is 1 mile from the sanctuaty.. The railway station branchline from Newquay to Par is situated just over 2 miles away and is a simple walk.

Seasonal Opening Times

Summer Season (March-October)

Open daily from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Winter Season (November-February)

Open daily from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Admission Prices

These are the 2024 prices: Adults: £15.00 | Children (3-15 years): £12.50 | Under 3 years: Free | Family Ticket (2 adults and 2 children): £45.00

Annual passes are also available and give good value.

welcome to screech owl

Exploring the Sanctuary

As you enter the sanctuary, you’ll be greeted by the enchanting sounds of owls hooting and calling. Follow the winding paths through the tranquil gardens, where enclosures showcase a variety of owl species, including Eurasian Eagle Owls, Tawny Owls, Barn Owls, and even the rare and elusive Snowy Owl.

Up-Close Encounters

For a truly immersive and unforgettable experience at the Screech Owl Sanctuary, indulge in their up-close encounters through the engaging owl handling sessions. Conducted twice daily, these sessions offer a rare opportunity to intimately connect with these mesmerizing creatures, gaining insights into their distinctive features and captivating behaviors.

Picture yourself in the midst of a serene woodland setting, where the air is filled with the soft hoots and calls of resident owls. During the owl handling sessions, expert guides share their wealth of knowledge about these nocturnal hunters, offering a deeper understanding of their lives, habits, and the vital role they play in the ecosystem.

owl handling at the screech owl sanctuary

As you participate in the session, the magic unfolds as owls gracefully alight on your arm, their velvety feathers delicately brushing against your skin. Feel the weight of their presence and marvel at the intricate details of their plumage. It’s a tactile encounter that goes beyond observation, allowing you to forge a personal connection with these majestic creatures.

The sanctuary’s skilled handlers guide you through the experience, ensuring both your safety and the well-being of the owls. Witness the curious gaze of these intelligent birds as they inspect their temporary perch on your arm, creating a moment of connection that transcends the boundaries between human and owl.

These up-close encounters not only offer a unique photo opportunity but also leave a lasting impression, fostering a newfound appreciation for these remarkable birds. The owl handling sessions at the Screech Owl Sanctuary provide an intimate and educational experience, leaving visitors with cherished memories and a deeper connection to the fascinating world of owls.

owl feeding at screech owl sanctuary

Other Animals at the Screech Owl Sanctuary

Beside the owls, the sanctuary also houses a variety of other fascinating animals, providing a glimpse into the diverse wildlife of Cornwall.

The gentle and curious goats are among the charming residents, their docile nature making them an endearing presence. Visitors have the chance to interact with these farmyard favorites, gaining firsthand knowledge about their role in sustainable farming practices and the importance of preserving heritage breeds.

Venture further into the sanctuary, and you’ll encounter the fascinating world of reptiles and amphibians inhabiting the ponds. From slithering snakes to the mesmerizing movements of amphibians, expert guides share intriguing insights into the lives of these often misunderstood creatures. The educational focus extends to conservation efforts aimed at protecting the delicate ecosystems that these animals call home.

Adding a touch of exotic charm to the sanctuary are the alpacas, emus, and meerkats, each with its own unique allure. Marvel at the graceful presence of alpacas, known for their luxurious fleece, and observe the quirky antics of meerkats as they stand sentinel in their enclosures. The emus, with their distinctive appearance and inquisitive nature, round out the collection of captivating creatures.

emu at screech

Educational Programs at the Owl Sanctuary

The Screech Owl Sanctuary is committed to educating visitors about the importance of owl conservation and the delicate balance of nature. Throughout your visit, you’ll encounter interactive exhibits, informative signage, and engaging talks that will deepen your understanding of owls and the ecosystems they inhabit.

Beyond Feathered Friends: The Screech Owl Sanctuary’s Vital Conservation Work

While the Screech Owl Sanctuary captivates visitors with its enchanting owls and diverse animal residents, its true heart lies in its unwavering dedication to wildlife conservation. This sanctuary isn’t just a haven for rescued creatures; it’s a crucial hub for protecting and restoring wild populations.

At the core of the sanctuary’s efforts lies its rehabilitation program. Injured, orphaned, or sick owls find expert care under the watchful eyes of dedicated staff. The goal is always clear: to restore these magnificent birds to health and, whenever possible, return them to their rightful place in the wild.

Witnessing a rehabilitated owl take flight back into the wild is a sight to behold. It’s a testament to the tireless work of the sanctuary team and a vital contribution to maintaining healthy owl populations. Each release isn’t just a success story; it’s a ripple of hope for the future of these remarkable birds.

The Screech Owl Sanctuary’s reach extends far beyond its Cornish borders. It actively participates in and supports vital conservation initiatives across the globe. From collaborating with researchers studying owl migration patterns to providing expertise and resources to other rehabilitation centers, the sanctuary’s dedication to broader conservation efforts is truly commendable.

The sanctuary understands that conservation starts with awareness. By educating visitors of all ages about the threats owls face and the importance of their role in the ecosystem, the Screech Owl Sanctuary fosters a generation of passionate advocates for these feathered marvels. Interactive exhibits, engaging talks, and hands-on experiences transform curiosity into understanding and inspire action.

wildlife owl

Family-Friendly Activities

The sanctuary provides a variety of activities to keep the whole family entertained. Engage in a treasure hunt to uncover hidden owls around the grounds, explore the mini-beasts garden, or create a unique owl mask to take home as a souvenir.

play at owl sanctuary

Facilities and Amenities

The sanctuary offers a range of facilities to enhance your visit.

The tea room offers a delightful selection of refreshments. Enjoy a cup of locally sourced coffee or indulge in a homemade treat while surrounded by the serenity of nature. The menu caters to diverse tastes, ensuring a satisfying break for every visitor.

Next to the cafe, the gift shop provides a treasure trove of souvenirs and wildlife-inspired mementos. Browse through an array of owl-themed merchandise, educational books, and handcrafted gifts. The thoughtful selection mirrors the sanctuary’s commitment to conservation and education, allowing visitors to take a piece of the experience home. Whether seeking a unique gift or simply wanting to reminisce about the day’s adventures, the cafe and gift shop offer a delightful conclusion to the Screech Owl Sanctuary experience.

screech owl tea room

Do Owls Screech?

Not all owls screech, but some definitely do! The name “screech owl” actually belongs to a specific group of small owls found in North and South America, known for their piercing, high-pitched calls. These calls can sound like, well, screeches!

However, many other owl species have different vocalizations. Some hoot, some whistle, and others even bark or make strange chattering sounds. The Eastern Screech-Owl, for example, has a trilling call that some might describe as more of a whinny than a screech.

So, while not all owls screech, the name definitely fits some members of this fascinating bird family! It’s always interesting to learn about the diverse vocalizations of owls. Their calls can be quite varied, even within the same species. For example, the Eastern Screech-Owl has a repertoire of seven different calls, including the familiar screech, a whinny, and a tremolo.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to book tickets in advance? – While walk-ins are welcome, booking in advance is recommended, especially during peak seasons, to ensure availability.

Are there feeding sessions for the animals? – The sanctuary conducts regular feeding sessions, allowing visitors to witness the natural behaviors of the animals.

Is the sanctuary wheelchair accessible? – Yes, the sanctuary is wheelchair-friendly, with ramps and accessible pathways.

Are dogs allowed at the Screech Owl Sanctuary? – No, the only dogs allowed are assistance dogs to protect the animals in the sanctuary from anxiety and to comply with zoo regulations.

Are there age restrictions for the owl handling sessions? – Owl handling sessions are suitable for all ages, but children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Is there parking available at the sanctuary? – Yes, there is ample free parking on-site for visitors.

The Screech Owl Companion

screech owl companion

The Screech Owl Companion” is an informative guide offering everything you need to know about these beneficial birds. A must-read for owl enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Buy Now

Nearby Places to Visit

When you are at the Screech Owl Sanctuary, think about seeing some of these other places too:

  • Tintagel Old Post Office – This iconic medieval building now houses memorabilia from its use as a post office in the 1800s alongside a traditional Cornish pasty bakery and King Arthur themed house.
  • Tintagel Castle – Immediately next to the Post Office are the impressive ruins of this castle on a headland, with links to King Arthur lore and dramatic coastal views that can be photographed from the footbridge access.
  • Boscastle – Wander this quaint fishing village clustered above its tiny harbour, then hike to the popular Strangle Owl viewpoint via a waterfall walk back to Boscastle’s large carpark.
  • Crackington Haven – Around half an hour’s drive, this rugged beach with crashing waves has great coastal views including Strangle Owl’s craggy headland. A tea room sits behind the beach.
  • Widemouth Bay – Near Bude, this fishing village hosts a popular long surfing beach backed by low cliffs and a wide expanse of sand at low tide, along with some facilities like cafes.
  • Bude Sea Pool – Found right on Summerleaze beach, swim safely in the ocean water held within this large partially man-made seawater pool, with full facilities and lifeguards on hand too in summer.
  • Millook – A pretty hamlet set in a wooded valley instantly recognisable for its iconic red telephone box out front. Enjoy woodland walks or views from Millook’s Holywell beach.
  • St Gennys Church – Along Cornwall’s Atlantic coast is this historic church in a secluded creek location with links to the smugglers and wreckers of bygone days.

The Screech Owl Sanctuary is a haven for families seeking an unforgettable day out. With its captivating displays of owls, educational programs, and family-friendly activities, the sanctuary offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature and learn about the wonders of the animal kingdom. Whether you’re a seasoned owl enthusiast or a curious newcomer, the Screech Owl Sanctuary is sure to leave you with lasting memories and a newfound appreciation for these remarkable creatures.

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