A Bit About Rhuallan and Us
George & Lesley have lived at Rhuallan since 1999 when they moved from nearby Carluke. It wasn’t long before the small collection of animals they brought with them – 1 cat and 4 chickens, started to increase. First it was a Harris’ Hawk, closely followed by 2 ferrets and a dog, because George insisted that these were required to ‘work’ with the hawk. The Harris’ was soon followed by a Red Tailed Hawk, then a Saker Falcon and that was the start of the collection that was to grow into Rhuallan Raptors.
Meanwhile the four chickens became 5 with the addition of the first cockerel (he was destined for the pot if he didn’t find a home, Lesley was told), then a couple of ducks, some geese. More chickens, guinea fowl and so the menagerie began. Later White Doves were added and these can be seen most mornings flying around the houses. They are only out in the mornings as the hawks, owls and falcons are flown in the afternoons and must never meet.
In 2005 Rhuallan Raptors was born. It came about from the lack of places to purchase falconry equipment in Scotland, as the only time there was any chance or choice was at Scone Game Fair once a year, and if what you wanted wasn’t available you had to rely on the internet. It started modestly offering a few items alongside Falconry Experience Days, tuition and educational talks, but has now grown into a major supplier of falconry equipment and food, as well as now offering flying display at events, fairs and weddings.
It was decided to add The Rowans to the mix in 2005 for Lesley’s Mum to live in, but due to many delays caused by outside factors it wasn’t built until 2007. Unfortunately, Lesley’s Mum never got to enjoy this house as she died that year. It was then ‘reinvented’ as the holiday home you see now, after many more delays. In fact it wasn’t used until 2013 but has seen many interesting people, from all walks of life and many countries stay since then.
Meanwhile George and Lesley have also been busy with their other ventures, not least of which was their flock of Easy Care sheep – yes that is a proper breed. They are a Welsh ‘invention’ and they do not have wool but hair instead, so they do not require shearing. The value of pure wool has fallen so much in recent years that it is more expensive to clip the sheep that the price gained for the wool. Easy Care sheep live up to their name and can been seen from the living room along with a couple of crossbreeds and some Zwartbles (black sheep). Most are ‘pets’ and are here to live out their days doing what sheep do best – eat. The days of round the clock lambing in spring have gone, though that might change in the future!
The 2 horses you can see are also part of the ‘pack’. These were bought to work alongside the birds of prey, as in medieval times, but are now retired. The mare is called Ginny and is part Thoroughbred part Native pony and the gelding is Hamish, he’s part Clydesdale part Native pony. Both have lovely natures and are interested in anything new, but it has to be said, Ginny is in charge!
Please feel free to ask any questions, George and Lesley will be pleased to give you any information you want. It has been said that if talking about Raptors was an Olympic sport, George would have a gold medal!