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Owl illumination trail returns

UK bird of prey conservation charity the Hawk Conservancy Trust is bringing back its Winter Woodland Lights event in time to help combat the January blues for visitors to its centre near Andover in Hampshire.

The wildlife charity’s unique nature-inspired spin on ever-popular winter light trails started on the 13th January, three days before what many now cite as the most depressing day of the year – so called “Blue Monday”.

The Hawk Conservancy Trust consciously planned its 17 night long fundraising event for the post festive season lull as an opportunity to raise spirits for visitors. Research done with the University of Surrey and ongoing work by the Trust show that time spent in nature with close proximity to the Trust’s birds increases individuals’ sense of well-being.

Taking visitors on an illuminating journey through the nocturnal life of British woodland, the Winter Woodland Lights experience follows a narrated trail with fascinating insights to shine a light on the beauty, diversity and conservation issues facing this precious wildlife habitat before culminating in a stunning moonlit owl flying display.

Speaking about the event, Hawk Conservancy Trust Chief Executive Penny Smout said: “This is our second year of the Winter Woodland Lights so any returning visitors will notice a few new features and will be left in no doubt that our fantastic team has gone all out to create another eye-catching and thought-provoking spectacle.

“While many of the pre-Christmas light trails have the drama of stately architecture as their backdrop, we have the majesty of Mother Nature and the chance to enthuse people about our mission to conserve birds of prey and their habitats. A big part of our role is to educate our visitors about the conservation issues they are facing. This fundraising event will not only generate valuable funds that will go directly towards our vital conservation work, but will also inspire our visitors to help us conserve birds of prey and their habitats. We all need to do what we can to help them.”

Tickets for Winter Woodland Lights can be booked online at: or by telephone on 01264 773850.

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