Owls and falcons take to the skies over Wensleydale in stunning Bolton Castle display

They're some of the most stunning - and fearsome - birds found in British skies.

But at Bolton Castle, near Leyburn, expert display falconer Luke Thompson has made it his mission to introduce thousands to birds of prey.

Mr Thompson, who helps take care of seven display birds at the 622 year old castle isn't afraid to shield visitors to the realities of how owls operate.

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He said: "It's all about education.

Eric, the Indian Eagle Owl, is one of seven stunning birds of prey at Bolton Castle near Leyburn

"We've got Charlie and Dora and all our other owls, and we all like them, but they are the most horrific killers.

"They will eat their prey alive for about an hour before they die."

Also living at the falconry is a rare peregrine saker hyrbid.

Such birds can reach speeds of up to 200mph when in full flight.

Eric is highly trained by display falconer Luke Thompson and can be seen here returning to his feeding perch

Visitors to the castle over the summer can look forward to displays of falconry across some of the most beautiful scenery in the region.

Mr Thompson said: "It's absolutely astonishing with the scenery as well and the backdrop of the castle across Wensleydale. There's nothing better."

The castle is also home to smaller birds of prey including Dora the Southern Faced White Owl