- Notes for interns at IWC in Wales, UK.
What to bring
You will need working and casual clothes and a set of tidy clothes for more formal events or nights out. We supply personal protective equipment such as gloves, eye and hearing protection plus a set of waterproofs.
The Welsh weather can be very variable with potential for wind, snow, rain, fog, hail and hot sunshine. Please bring enough clothing to cope with all weathers.
For people arriving from overseas we will provide 1 x duvet, 2 x towels and 2 sets of bed linen. People based in the UK are expected to bring their own.
Bring a camera by all means but if you take any photos on IWC premises (including those taken with your mobile) please bear in mind our policy about social media. See your intern pack for details.
Don't forget your driving licence; you will need to present this to the office in order to be able to drive company vehicles. If you need an international one, get it at home before you come.
Accommodation is in shared houses on the farm. You will be given your own room and the rest of the facilities (bathroom, kitchen, living rooms) are shared. Please remember that for our permanent members of staff these houses are their homes - it makes life a lot easier if everyone mucks in to do the household chores and keep the place tidy.
It is important to note that all IWC properties are strictly no-smoking.
Electricity is via a key meter for which you will make a contribution from your allowance. If you are a heavy user, making a larger contribution is the fair thing to do.
You will find each house has a fridge, washing machine and a freezer which you are welcome to use.
Please bear in mind that we are in a rural location and although town is only a few miles away there is no public transport to get there.
If you have not done much cooking before - start practising. Sometimes the staff will take it in turns to prepare an evening meal. Carmarthen has the usual range of supermarkets and is also a great hub for local foods. The local pub has a ‘pie night’ every Wednesday which is popular with staff.
You will be provided with a weekly sum of pocket money which should cover your food costs, toiletries etc. Please do not expect to be living a lavish lifestyle!
The working language here is English and you will need a good command of it in order to be able to interpret instructions correctly. We have had people from many nations here including Spain, France, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Sweden, Slovakia, Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, Morocco, USA, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Kirghizstan, Mongolia, Zimbabwe, New Zealand and of course, Britain.
If you expect to be handling falcons on a daily basis be warned: during the spring and summer we are generally NOT handling adult falcons. They are busy breeding! Instead we will be rearing tiny chicks, fostering chicks to parents, preparing quail, rats and other food for them, moving big chicks to hack pens and above all – CLEANING! We will try to give you as much experience as possible in as many fields as possible but please remember that many tasks are time sensitive and it is not always possible to include everyone. There are also some tasks which we prefer to be done by our regular staff but we encourage you to observe and ask questions. You will learn a huge amount but it is not always apparent at the time as the breeding season is incredibly busy.
We have not yet managed to breed a baby falcon that only needs feeding six days per week! Regular staff in the breeding season work 7 days a week and interns follow a rota. Where possible we try to let people have a day off every week.
Length of stay
You normally need three or four months to find your feet and to see enough of the breeding cycle to make it worthwhile, 6 months is better still. To be fair to our permanent staff who get little time off in the breeding season we like people to be committed to their time here and avoid coming if you have booked a three week cruise in the middle of your stay! Please tell us if you have any prior commitments during your initial interview.
Essential. Without a driving licence life at IWC is very difficult. If you are traveling here from another country get an international one if you can and make sure it will not run out during your visit. You may have to drive company vehicles in the course of your work.
Please note: we are not open to the public and do not undertake flying displays.
We have a team of hunting falcons which are taken out from the moult and trained in the second part of July. They go north for crow hawking at the beginning of August. We will also train other birds periodically but cannot promise you involvement.