The Barn Owl Centre. A registered charity dedicated to community education, conservation and bird welfare

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Our centre is dedicated to the welfare of barn owls & birds of prey

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Our Charity was tricked, battered, abused, threatened & we survived!

London Owl Cafe

Official Press Statement
A massive thank you to our many supporters on Twitter and Facebook
We would like to offer our deepest apologies to every single person who thought we supported this horrendous Owl Cafe in Soho.

A GLOUCESTERSHIRE OWL charity, 'Barn Owl Centre' has told how “it survived a death sentence” after being falsely linked to an owl-themed cocktail bar in London.

Annie the Owl, a week long pop-up bar set to launch in Soho later this month, offers guests the chance to sip cocktails in the company of six owls. Organisers said money from ticket sales would be donated to The Barn Owl Centre in Gloucestershire, where the owls live.

However, centre founder Vince Jones would like to say that the charity has been “exploited” as the information was untrue.

Both have faced backlash from campaigners who raised concerns over the owls’ welfare, and more than 25,700 people have signed an online petition to stop the bar opening.

“I had a phone call regarding an event in London where a professional falconer or Hawking Centre would be in attendance at a sit down affair,” explained Mr Jones. “We were offered a £500-£1,000 donation, but there was no mention of an owl cafe, nor were we to attend with our birds.

“As the Barn Owl Centre charity is trying to raise £165,000 to fund its own property, and after checking it was a reputable falconer, we simply accepted the donation.”

But, Mr Jones believes he was tricked into accepting a donation from a separate company and never agreed to accept a donation from an owl bar.

“When we heard through the media it was an owl cafe, it was too late; damage to the Barn Owl Centre’s reputation was done. With the social media onslaught that followed we spent endless days and nights being bombarded with abuse and threats, we also had to install special CCTV at the cost of £3000 as activists were threatening to release the rescued Owls in our care, this was important funds needed to support the Owls at our sanctuary.

We are sorry that we didn't sign the Soho Owl petition earlier. We don't normally get involved in petitions or political arguments, whether it's right or wrong.”

The charity, which has rescued and rehabilitated wild owls including mistreated pet Owls for 17 years, decided to handle the situation privately and not through the press.

“Our name and credibility as an owl welfare charity was exploited to the highest of levels. With all the mixed messages spread throughout the press and on Twitter, nobody wanted to listen to our side of the story. But what saddens us is that the professional falconer’s name & his business (The Hawking Centre) was always shrined in secrecy.

“Now, the truth is out, our life is starting to get back to some kind of normality at a loss of £3000 in CCTV security and lost time worrting if we can survive through this. For those who supported us through this difficult time, we thank every single one of you from the bottom of our hearts”

We would like to end our personal statement to say this. We hope that one day, the owner of the Hawking Centre who is well known in the falconry industry will make a statement to apologise to us and to everyone who was against the Owl Cafe, his silence put the Barn Owl Centre Charity and the whole Owl Community into a very dark place.

Kindest of Regards
Vincent Jones
(Director/Trustee)

Barn Owl Centre adds 2 new trustees to charity

10th May 2014

Charity Announcement
Exciting times ahead with 2 new trustees now added to the Barn Owl Centre.

On the evening of Thursday 8th May 2014, an important meeting was held to take us from 4 trustees to 6 trustees. The additional trustees are.

Kevin Treadwell
Kev has been a great friend & over many years has offered valuable time & so much voluntary support for which we are indebted. Kev is a professional photographer who works at The Flash Centre in Birmingham. His passion shown for our birds & his commitment in supporting the Barn Owl Centre is second to none, so to have Kev on board is a complete honour!!!

Steve Loughlin
Steve has been working very hard behind the scenes as a voluntary consultant, previously he worked as a senior project officer for CAPITA, which is a large plc company. With full focus & determination to help the Barn Owl Centre in helping us to own its property, Steve has been working tirelessly with the negotiations & purchase of Netheridge Farm from Gloucester City Council. He is 99% there with just a simple boundary issue left to resolve, this now has been verbally agreed, which now leaves it to be agreed & signed off by the cabinet of Gloucester City Council. So again, it's a real honour to welcome Steve on board!!!
 
On behalf of our charity, we would like to thank Gloucester City Council for the support given in helping us to move forward to secure the long term future of the Barn Owl Centre at Netheridge Farm.
 

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The Barn Owl Centre is a registered charity dedicated to community education, conservation and bird welfare
Charity. No : 1097410
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