Barry Macdonald and Luce Green from Falconry Experience Wales with their two new awards and two of their birds
A popular Mid Wales visitor attraction and Welsh Raptor Conservation Centre completed a notable double at The Welsh Hospitality Awards 2023.
Falconry Experience Wales, which moved to its new home alongside Llwyn Celyn holiday home park at Adfa, near Newtown at the start of this year, won the awards for Outdoor Venue of the Year and Family Venue of the Year.
It’s the third time the business has won the Outdoor Venue of the Year award. Owners Barry Macdonald and Luce Green were elated to win two awards at the Cardiff ceremony.
Now in their fifth year, the awards celebrate excellence in the country’s vibrant hospitality industry. With a focus on recognising outstanding businesses and individuals, the awards aim to inspire excellence, foster innovation and promote the highest standards in Welsh hospitality.
“It’s wonderful to be recognised for the important work that we do educate the public and promote raptor conservation,” said Barry, who thanked Diane and Lee Whitehouse, owners of Llwyn Celyn holiday home park, for providing a new home for the popular business.
“The birds love the outstanding beauty and nature gardens run by Diane and Lee. We are so grateful to them for providing us with a new start and the homeowners have been so supportive that they are very much part of the family now.”
Soon after moving from the Machynlleth area to their new home, Barry and Luce had to postpone reopening Falconry Experience Wales due to outbreaks of bird flu in the surrounding communities.
However, the business took off in early summer and the reviews from customers about the range of experiences offered have been overwhelmingly positive.
“We have been truly humbled by the wonderful reviews, after an eventful end to 2022 and start 2023,” added Luce. “To meet existing and new customers and friends has been the most enjoyable and inspiring experience for us.”
Raptor conservation days with popular naturalist and TV presenter Iolo William, focused on education for conservation and preservation, have also been very successful.
Barry and Luce, who have worked with raptors for more than 30 years and have an active background in wildlife conservation in the UK and abroad, have welcomed a new member to their bird team this year.
Hooded Vulture Togo, who has recently begun training to fly to glove, will soon be joined by a female as part of an important breeding programme to save the endangered species. The Hooded Vulture is persecuted in African, where its population has declined by more than 80 per cent.
Barry and Luce work with various organisations, such as a Raptor Rehabilitation Centre in Namibia.
Falconry Experience Wales is a member of MWT Cymru (Mid Wales Tourism), an independent organisation representing around 600 tourism and hospitality businesses across Powys, Ceredigion and Southern Snowdonia.
A spokesperson for the award organisers said: “The awards have has once again showcased the remarkable talent and exceptional standards within the vibrant Welsh hospitality industry.
“The 2023 winners have consistently demonstrated excellence, innovation and dedication in their respective categories, setting the benchmark for quality and service within the Welsh hospitality industry.”
Other award winners from Mid Wales were: Best Entertaining Team, Quackers, Llandrindod Wells. Best Welsh Festival, Landed Festival, Llandrindod Wells. Best Golf Club, Cardigan Golf Club. Value Hotel of the Year, Royal Ship Hotel, Dolgellau. Romantic Hotel of the Year and Central Wales Restaurant of the Year, The Falcondale hotel and restaurant, Lampeter. Hotel of the Year overall winner and Central Wales winner, Y Talbot, Tregaron. Central Wales Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year Central, The Kerry Lamb, Kerry. South West Wales Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year, Crwst, Cardigan and Central Wales Pub/Inn of the Year, Lamb and Flag Inn, Rhayader.
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