THE region's newest falconry centre got off to a flying start after attracting more people on its opening day than anticipated.

As many as 200 people came to see Lightwater Valley's newest attraction, which can boast a golden eagle, as well as a collection of owls, hawks and falcons.

Centre manager Stuart Laidler said: "It was a great start. We certainly hope we can build on the numbers once the theme park opens at Easter.''

Until then, the centre, in North Yorkshire will open every Sunday, with two flying displays every day.

The Global Falconry facility also includes educational displays, demonstrating techniques used for breeding some of Britain's most endangered bird of prey species such as the barn owl.