Our new offices are now in the local landmark Export House, the former BAT building, once the headquarters of British American Tobacco. Export House is a buzzing hub of local small businesses. Our building is the tallest in Woking and the fifth highest in Surrey. It even has its own Wikipedia page.
But we’re not the only new residents of the prominent Woking office block. Walking into our reception area, one of the first things our clients notice is the huge TV screen streaming 24-hour news and live feeds from CCTV cameras around our building. However, they are not just any ordinary CCTV feeds; one relays the activity from the nesting box of a pair of Peregrine Falcons.
Yes, we share our HQ with the famous Woking Peregrines. That’s no idle boast either because the breeding birds are indeed very well-known. They have their own twitter feed and hashtag #WokingPeregrines and a website, The Woking Peregrine Project. What’s more, they’ve even featured on ITV News!
And it is no accident that the breeding pair are under the watchful gaze of the security cams – Peregrines are a protected species, benefiting from the highest level of protection under the UK Wildlife and Countryside Act. Even disturbing the birds can result in hefty fines or even a prison sentence.
With such status, it is no wonder the Woking Peregrines are so keenly observed and they are monitored through cameras installed in their specially-built nest box, 15 floors up in Export House, Woking town centre.
The Woking Peregrines started laying eggs at the end of March and by the beginning of April had a clutch of five. The mother and father now take turns in keeping their brood warm and the eggs are expected to hatch sometime after Easter.
We’re all keen to see the chicks hatch and the fledglings will take a further few weeks before they finally leave their nest, so it will be May or June by the time we see them take flight.
So watch out, pigeons, there could be as many as 7 new raptors in town, that’ll be the Woking Peregrines.
For all the latest updates, see the fabulous Falcons on, er… Twitter… @WokingPeregrine