Kes for the 21st Century
In what seems like a modern-day rendition of Kes, a bird of prey has been credited with turning around the life of a young boy in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. Ben Brettoner, 16, was given an ASBO after terrorising his council estate with vandalism and petty crime. As part of the order Ben was sent to a falconry centre on the moors above Oxenhope, West Yorks, where he is learning how to care for owls, falcons and kestrels. Now Ben has forged a bond with a bird of prey just like in Kes, Toby the harris hawk. According to Ben the falconry course has focused his energies on something that genuinely interests him and helped change his attitude and behaviour. Ben now hopes to get a job in falconry when he leaves school this summer. The falconry course is run by Chris Corker, housing management officer on Ben’s estate, who calls it “The Kes Project”.