After almost a lifetime in the building trade, Barry Scales is flying high in a new business – thanks to Harry the Hawk. Three year-old Harry is a key weapon in Barry’s successful pest control company. The two are so close that Barry, 60, even takes Harry for a walk – exactly as he does with his two dogs.
Barry, who lives in the Ceiriog Valley, explained: “I decided I wanted a career change and started doing for a living what I’ve been doing as a hobby for most of my life.
“I have always done pest control with rabbits, rodents and the like – and I have deer management qualifications. At my time of life, it seemed that it was a good time for me to do something that I wanted to do.”
According to Barry, the advice and guidance from accountant Peter McVeigh has been invaluable in setting up is company, NBC Pest Solutions, and keeping him on the right track since then.
He said: “I was looking for a local accountant that I could trust and would give me sound business advice so I asked around and got quite a few recommendations for Coxeys. And I’m glad to say that they were absolutely right, Coxeys have been fantastic and they have certainly proved a major help in getting my business off the ground. Peter is extremely supportive. I can pick up the phone anytime and I get a personal service which is excellent. Not only do I get good financial advice on the most tax-efficient way of doing things but you also feel as if you’re speaking to somebody who cares.”
Barry’s company, NBC Pest and Bird Solutions, is part of a national franchise network. He works from his cottage home set in idyllic surroundings near the village of Tregeiriog where he keeps a variety of birds and animals that he uses as part of his work. The menagerie also includes a Kestral called Budgie along with two ferrets called Maud and Fred, a Spaniel, called Griffin, and a Lurcher called Tinker. But the undoubted star of Barry’s collection is Harry, the beautifully sleek Harris Hawk.
In the wild, Harris Hawks prey on small rodents, such as rats and mice, lizards, small birds and small mammals, such as young rabbits.
Barry said: “I had never been into birds of prey before but they are invaluable as part of the ethical side of pest control. We deter with the birds of prey. We can move seagulls on, we can move pigeons on, starlings, sparrows without actually killing anything. We use Harris Hawks for urban bird control and he has also been used for rabbit clearance on a variety of sites such as football clubs gas pumping stations, golf courses and the like.”
Peter McVeigh said “Barry made a career change quite late in his professional life and setting up a business can be quite daunting and I’m delighted that I’ve been able to help. It’s fascinating working with people like Barry because what he does is so interesting.”