Brigstock birdman's mercy mission to Ukraine and back

He has borrowed a minibus and will be driving across Europe

A Brigstock-based bird of prey expert is heading off on a mercy mission to help collect a friend and his elderly mother who are fleeing from war-torn Ukraine's capital Kyiv.

Wayne Davis, owner of Avian Environmental Consultants, is taking a break from his job of using his birds of prey to patrol some of Britain's top venues and heading east in a borrowed minibus.

He is rmeeting at the border of Romania and Ukraine with a friend who he made through their shared passion for falconry, Igor Latyshev, and to deliver much-needed supplies to refugees.

Wayne Davis

Mr Davis will leave Corby on Saturday heading for Brussels and from there will head to the Czech Republic before meeting up with his friend in Romania close to the Ukrainian border - a journey of more than 1,300 miles.

He said: "I'm not at all frightened. Nothing is going to happen to me. I just feel that it's right to do it. My family are used to me doing this sort of thing."

Using a minibus loaned by David Thompson, founder of Corby car race team Nielsen Racing, Mr Davis will use his network of falconry contacts across Europe for accommodation.

Mr Davis' specialist company provides bird patrols at The All England Lawn Tennis Club including the Wimbledon Tennis Championships and Westminster Abbey as well as landfill sites, shopping centres, and industrial sites - all using trained Falcons and Hawks.

Wayne Davis - at Wimbledon

Members of the International Association of Falconry and Mr Davis' own Facebook group - The Ancient and Venerable Order of the Houbara - have raised almost £2,000 to cover the cost of fuel.

The first stop over the channel will be Brussels to collect toiletries, clothes and medical supplies collected in the city.

There may be an opportunity to rescue any birds of prey from colleagues but he is unsure of the situation, leaving plans 'fluid'. Mr Davis aims to be back in the UK within a week.

He said: "It's fantastic. I'm not quite sure where I will end up. My plans are fluid. I might go to Latvia to drop off my friend's mum. I'm also happy to pick up anyone with the right papers to come to England.

Wayne Davis with one of his birds

"If anyone knows anyone who needs a ride they can contact me or if they want to offer any other support."

He added: "It's not scary, it's quite exciting."

Anyone who would like to support Mr Davis or has anyone who needs a lift back from the Ukraine border can contact him at [email protected]