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.
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.
Vicki has spent most of her working life as an embryologist. However 2019 saw her take a new direction as she took over the Owl House Cafe.
Vicki also 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!
At 6ft 7 inches we can confidently call Jimmy a giant in the world of birds of prey!
Jimmy is curator at NCBP and is responsible for the management of the entire collection.
Jimmy has spent most of his life around raptors and has built up a very impressive CV. He has worked in the Middle East flying large falcons; with the International Wildlife Consultants and has even done a stint flying vultures from paragliders in Nepal.
When not at work Jimmy can been found hunting with his own trained birds and spending time with Nathalie, his girlfriend (with whom he is definitely “batting above his average”!!) 😀
Ronnie started as maternity cover for Katie, but we liked her so much that we asked her to stay as a permanent member of staff!
She recently graduated from Askham Bryan with a degree in Animal Management and Science.
She has spent a great deal of time with birds – she grew up in a house with 6 parrots!
You will often see her around the centre taking owl selfies 🙂
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 🙂
Caroline runs our shop and admission desk together with Ben.
Raised just around the corner in Harome, Caroline now lives in Helmsley.
In her spare time Caroline likes travelling, seeing friends and dining out.
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.