Council officers sign-off Chesterfield falcon breeding centre – for Arab racing market export

A half-acre of land near Brimington is set to become a breeding centre for falcons - destined for export to the Arab racing market in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 3:46 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 4:15 pm

The site - on land between the suburb and Chesterfield Canal - will house a pairing “chamber” where hundreds of the animals will be bred.

As well as an 87 sqm “imprint chamber” where the raptors will be reared the site will have a 308 sqm quail barn - with the game birds providing a food source for the birds of prey.

Planning officers signed off the application from Mr Russell Hancock last month - subject to certain conditions.

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Falcon racing - a specialist hobby for farmers a couple decades ago - is now a major sport in the UAE

In a report to the council planning officers say the centre will be operated from 7am until 5pm however during breeding season someone will be on-site 24 hours a day.

The report reads: “The activity on site is minimal - the majority of the time is spent feeding, watering and observing the falcons.”

Planners add that “vehicular traffic will be less than a domestic household”.

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Day-to-day work at the site will include maintenance of the site, feeding and watering the falcons, hatching eggs and rearing the young falcons till they are roughly 14 days old - when they are returned to their parents.

The site of the proposed breeding facility is bordered on all sides by mature hedgerows and agricultural fields.

Council officials say employees at the site must be limited to no more than two at any one time and commit to maintaining and improving hedgerows screening the site.

While all buildings and fencing at the site must be dark green to ensure the facility blends with its surroundings.

Falcon racing - a specialist hobby for farmers a couple decades ago - is now a major sport in the UAE with support from Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

However falconry’s roots go back 2,000 years to the Bedouins - who used birds of prey for survival while hunting in the deserts of the wider Arabian Peninsula.

Nowadays, at the annual Fazza Championship for Falconry first prize in the Sheikhs category is £50,000 while juniors can take home £20,000.

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