Birds of prey to visit residents of Great Missenden care home on 18 May 2015

Once it was known as the ‘sport of kings’ but increasingly, falconers are playing a valuable role in healthcare, as residents of Great Missenden care home, Woodlands Park, will discover when Berkshire-based falconer Colin Sutherland takes his birds for a special visit on Monday 18 May.

A tawny owl and two hawks will join residents in the lounge at Woodlands Park and are expected to win everyone over with their beauty and grace as part of the home’s special event programme for Dementia Awareness Week (18-24 May). Residents will be able to get up close with the formidable hunters and find out all about them from Colin, who also rescues wild birds at his sanctuary Wings of Freedom.

“Animals are always a big hit with our residents but this is the first time we’ll have been visited by birds of prey and they will really brighten everyone’s afternoon up and get everyone chatting – after all, it’s not every day you get to have a sharp-taloned hunter perched on your arm! What makes the birds extra special is they can visit residents in their own rooms too, so everyone will have a chance to see and meet them,” comments manager for Woodlands Park Care Centre, Marie Shouler.

The positive benefits of seeing and meeting animals on people’s health – especially for people living with dementia – mean that animal-based therapy is being used more and more by dementia-specialist homes like Woodlands Park. “It is amazing to see that people who can be quite withdrawn really come out of their shells when you bring animals into their familiar environment - their faces light up and they engage with the animals fantastically well,” adds Marie.

Woodlands Park provides residential expert care for older people with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, or other forms of dementia and moderate to high confusion, and was recently awarded the Dignity and Wellbeing in Care award from Buckinghamshire County Council.  Woodlands Park is located on Aylesbury Road, just outside the village of Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire. It is part of the Forest Healthcare group of homes, which includes 13 individual homes throughout the South East of England. For more information on Woodlands Park, please visit or call 01494 862535.


For further media information or photographs, please contact:

Sam Orange or Jay Commins

Pyper York Limited

Tel:         01904 500698

Email: or

About Us

Forest Healthcare operates 12 individual care homes, specialising in dementia and neurological rehabilitation services. With Forest Healthcare’s management team all coming from clinical or care backgrounds, the focus of the company is entirely on providing the best possible environments to improve the lives of their clients and families, providing a safe and secure environment that motivates clients to live a full and happy life.