Good Practice Database - Country - UK - Kite Country Project
Good Practice Database
Print

Kite Country Project

Practice on:

In 1980s the red kite was one of only three globally threatened species in the UK, and so it was a high priority for conservation.  In 1994 the Kite Country Project was supported by Powys County Council, Countryside Council for Wales and the European Union ERDF Structure fund. and developed with other partners. The project was successful in stimulating the tourism industry and raising awareness of birds of prey and the environment. An example of business development linked to  conservation activity is the highly successful in Gigrin Farm.

Practical details:
NUTS 1: UKLWALES
NUTS 2: UKK4 Devon
Start date: 01.10.1992
Type of initiative:  private
Description of the practice:

This small project become central to the development of the more ambitious Kite Country Project, and since that time this has become a model for other Red Kite Conservation work in Wales and other parts of the UK.


Close work with RSPB and Red Kite Conservation Wales and UK.

The Gigrin is a family run upland sheep farm of approximately 200 acres, owned and farmed by Chris Powell, and Mrs Lena Powell. Gigrin became the Official Red Kite Feeding Station in the winter 1992/93 following a request from the RSPB who had witnessed the late Mr Powell feeding the kites. The RSPB had noted this spectacle and proposed opening to the public as the red kite feeding station identify that this provided many conservation benefits.  Mr Powell, already a successful livestock farmer took on the challenge and the farm is now far better known for the red kites than anything else.  This small project become central to the development of the more ambitious Kite Country Project. And since that time this has become a model for other Red Kite Conservation work in Wales and other parts of the UK.  For example: A project at Nant-yr-Arian, Aberystwyth, Mid Wales in partnership with the RSPB and Forestry Commission Wales, started in 2004. In its first year, 5,500 visitors enjoyed the opportunity to watch red kites over a 2.5 month period.  Although now rather historic the following gives an indication of the economic value of conservation.

Evidence of success
Biological/biodiversity values:

Further to the excellent work happening at Gigrin is now also the Red Kite Rehabilitation Centre in conjunction with The Welsh Kite Trust.  This unit allows kites, that have fallen ill or been injured, to recuperate after having any required veterinary care elsewhere.

Visual impact and recreational value:

Mid Wales has the greatest density and diversity of birds of prey in southern Britain... Mid Wales was home to the last remaining Native Red Kites. Now, due to the hard work of the Conservation bodies such as The Welsh Kite Trust, Red Kites are once again in the ascendance.

Cultural heritage:

A beautiful sight to see Wild Red Kites are fed at Gigrin Farm every day of the year. With breathtaking feats of aerial piracy red kites compete with buzzards and ravens for choice pickings.
Feeding takes place at 3pm in summer & 2pm winter.  Over 200+ Kites coming into feed on a daily basis.

Environmental impact:

Bringing back a Native Red Kite back into Mid Wales.

Economic viability:

Kite Country centres received 148,000 visits in 1995/96. These visitors were estimated to have spent £5.4 million in the Mid Wales economy, £2.9 million of which can be attributed to the Kite Country project. This expenditure was estimated to support local income of £860,000 and 114 FTE jobs (Rayment, 1997).  Red kites have become an important marketing tool attracting many visitors; they define the image of Mid Wales, and have helped diversify a rural economy over-reliant on agriculture. Gigrin has been attracting visitors to the farm for the last 18 year, open all year round other than Christmas Day. It's attracted on-line followers on Twitter and Facebook. The Elan Valley Estate is the wider surrounding area in which farm is located in attracts 400,000 visitors annually.  The red kites were the stars when BBC Countryfile came to the farm.  They've also got a Holiday Cottage on rent all year.

Transferability:
This small project become central to the development of the more ambitious Kite Country Project. And since that time this has become a model for other Red Kite Conservation work in Wales and other parts of the UK. For example: A project at Nant-yr-Arian, Aberystwyth, Mid Wales in partnership with the RSPB and Forestry Commission Wales, started in 2004.

Contact details:
Name: Powell Family
Organisation: Gigrin Farm
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: http://www.gigrin.co.uk/index.html


Completed on:
Date added: 8.9.2011  Hits: 237
Powered by Sigsiu.NET
INTERREG IVC DG Regio
The Interregional Cooperation Programme INTERREG IVC, financed by the European Union’s Regional Development Fund, helps Regions of Europe work together to share experience and good practice in the areas of innovation, the knowledge economy, the environment and risk prevention. EUR 302 million is available for project funding but, more than that, a wealth of knowledge and potential solutions are also on hand for regional policy-makers.