About Us

Gauntlet Birds of Prey – Eagle and Vulture Park is situated in Knutsford, Cheshire.

Established in 1996, the park is home to over 180 birds from 50 different species – it’s the largest collection in the North West of England. It is also one of only a handful of birds of prey parks in the UK to be a member of BIAZA (The British & Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums).

Our main goal is to raise awareness of birds of prey, how they live, hunt and feed. At Gauntlet you will meet a wide range of birds from Eagles, Hawks and Falcons, to Vultures, Kites and Owls. The park is also home to more unusual species like Caracaras, Seriemas, Storks and Pelicans. We inform visitors of the plight of some of the species here at the park through our Flying Demonstrations (where you get to see and hear all about the birds), the ‘Vulture Restaurant Talk’ and ‘Meet and Greet’ sessions. We also run a range of fun and educational events and experiences. Events & Workshops like our Young Falconer’s Club or Owls by Moonlight and Birds of Prey Experiences, where you can get up close to our birds and fly anything from a Little Owl on a Taster Experience to a huge White-tailed Sea Eagle on an Ultimate Eagle Encounter.

Conservation and education is extremely important to us, it’s why we started the park in the first place. Since we opened our doors we have educated 1000’s of children on the importance of these birds, their habitats and how to conserve them. We do this through educational presentations to schools visiting the park and also through the work of our educational team. The team visit schools, youth groups, etc. across Cheshire and Manchester, taking some of Gauntlet’s residents with them. Throughout the year Gauntlet also works hard to raise funds for its charity partner ‘Gauntlet Conservation Trust’ which actively supports conservation projects in both the UK and internationally.

Meet The Team

Graham Bessant

Owner, Founder, Bird Handler and Presenter

Graham’s driving passion for birds of prey has seen him steer Gauntlet from a fledgling centre with 13 birds, to the largest collection of birds of prey in the North West.

Daisy Bessant

Bird Handler and Presenter

Daisy completed her Chartered Business Management Apprenticeship in 2022 while working at Gauntlet.

Jake Bessant

Bird Handler and Presenter

Jake is following in his father’s footsteps working at the park while studying for his Level 3 Apprenticeship in Animal Care.


Bird Handler and Presenter

Hannah joined us in 2020 and can be seen here at the park in Knutsford and at Knowsley Safari Park too.


Bird Handler and Presenter

At present Talia is finishing her Degree in Animal Behaviour and Conservation and has been with us since the Summer of 2022.


Bird Handler and Presenter

Sam joined the team in November 2022.


Bird Handler and Presenter

Kane is currently doing a Level 3 Keeper and Aquarist Apprenticeship, he joined us at the beginning of March 2023.


Bird Handler and Presenter

Megan joined the park as a full time falconer in May 2023.


Bird Handler and Presenter

Dylan joined the park at the start of October 2023. He has previously worked at Knowsley Safari Park and Chester Zoo as an animal presenter.