Our Staff

Charlie Heap

Charlie Heap was a bird obsessed toddler, then a bird obsessed child, then a bird obsessed teenager………. Well you get the picture!

His first birds were a pair of Tawny Owls in 1980 – they were a gift from the renowned conservationist Mr Philip Wayre.

Charlie’s first falconry bird was Warren; a Common Buzzard. Warren arrived after Charlie met Jemima Parry-Jones at Chatsworth Country Fair in 1981. Warren lived until he was 27 years old. His daughter is still going strong and lives at NCBP!

Charlie worked at the International Centre for Birds of Prey in Newent for a couple of years before starting a degree at the Royal Agricultural College in nearby Cirencester.

After graduating from the Royal Agricultural College he worked as a falconer for the Duke of Buccleuch at Drumlanrig Castle for 5 years.

He has started and run several businesses from clothing manufacture to property developing. Charlie is the day to day manager of the Centre and is director of the National Centre for Birds of Prey.

When not at Duncombe, Charlie tries his best to be a half decent husband to Vicki and he enjoys teaching his son, William, how to misbehave.

Charlie Heap and Steller's Sea Eagle at National Centre for Birds of Prey
Charlie Heap at the National Centre for Birds of Prey, Duncombe Park, Helmsley UK

Jemima Parry Jones MBE

Jemima Parry-Jones is a giant of the bird of prey world. She is an authority on birds of prey (raptors), a conservationist, author, raptor breeder, lecturer, consultant and is CEO of the International Centre for Birds of Prey, Newent.

In June 1999 she was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours list for services to bird conservation. She is the daughter of Phillip Glasier the noted author, falconer and founder of the Falconry Centre at Newent.

Jemima is a regular visitor to Duncombe, although when she comes does depend on whether her dilapidated Range Rover is working!

Jemima Parry Jones at the National Centre for Birds of Prey, Duncombe Park, Helmsley UK

Dr Vicki Lamb

Vicki has the dubious pleasure of being Charlie’s wife.

She played a major part in the fight to get planning permission.

When not busy doing her day job as an embryologist, Vicki makes sure that the NCBP complies with the ever growing mountain of red tape and legislation. She also acts as a part-time HR department, occasional caterer for Winter Owl Evenings and proof reader for websites and signs!

The luckiest girl in the world

Katie Bass

Katie joined us in March 2015, having worked and volunteered at ICBP Newent for several years and she has her own Kestrel called Sky.

In 2010 Katie volunteered in Kenya in an environmental programme.

She is also a talented photographer. Katie can be seen doing flying demonstrations and scrubbing aviaries! She has a bit of a Brummy accent ( she says that she has lost it – but she hasn’t!), but we’ll get her talking proper Yorkshire before long!

Katie Bass at the National Centre for Birds of Prey, Duncombe Park, Helmsley UK

Sarah Brierley

Sarah has volunteered for us for a couple of years – and in early 2017 she joined us as a full-time member of bird staff.

Sarah has a degree in Animal Management from Sparsholt college and has done an internship at Chester Zoo.

Sarah can be found doing everything from cleaning aviaries, to training birds to doing flying demos. She also coordinates our volunteer programme, and less glamorously, she runs the faecal testing programme!

When not at work, Sarah can be found either in John Lewis or Waitrose. Her favourite thing to do is to get wildly overexcited about the slightest thing 🙂

Sarah Brierley

Dan Mercer

Dan joined us in April 2017 as seasonal bird staff. He’ll be here until October 2017 when he’ll head back to Hartpury College to complete his degree in Bioveterinary Science.

Dan’s duties include cleaning stuff as well as doing flying demos and experience days. He has shown a real talent for breaking lawnmowers.

Dan enjoys learning how to make a half-decent cup of tea and getting grabbed by Great Horned Owls!!!

Dan Mercer flying a Great Horned Owl at the National Centre for Birds of Prey

Ben Browning

Ben is one of the people involved in running our shop and entrance gate.

Ben grew up locally and has spent his whole life in Ryedale. He recently bought a house locally with his new wife – Ilona

He is weirdly flexible and can put both his feet behind his head however please don’t ask him to do this during work hours!!

Ben’s responsibilities include welcoming visitors, choosing shop stock and advising people on how to grow massive moustaches.

Ben Browning at the National Centre for Birds of Prey, Duncombe Park, Helmsley UK

Laura Ruston

Laura joined the team in early 2016.

Working in our shop and entrance area, she spends much of her day cleaning up after Ben! Laura also works on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

Laura is learning to drive at the moment – please take that as a warning!

Living close by in Pickering, Laura spends her spare time wasting her life on social media and being waited on by her mum.

Laura Ruston at the National Centre for Birds of Prey, Duncombe Park, Helmsley UK

National Centre for Birds of Prey
Duncombe Park
North Yorkshire UK
YO62 5EB

0844 7422035 (local call rate)