Animal Assisted Therapies (AAT) have been growing in popularity over the last few decades, with many people seeking help in the form of AAT sessions.

They are particularly useful for young people with learning disabilities to help them connect with these creatures and experience empathy, care and compassion. It aims to enhance emotional and cognitive functioning, as well as aiding therapists to engage with patients if they bring along a friendly pet with them.

The animals that are typically used for AATs are horses, donkeys, dogs and dolphins. However, a man from Barry, Scotland, has launched the idea of using birds of prey instead, Glamorgan GEM reported.

Mark Brinkworth told the newspaper: “I know that a specific type of therapy does not work for every individual, but perhaps if hawk and falcon therapy is added to the raft of therapeutic inventions available, then it can do good for some people.”

Mr Brinkworth has a mental health background, having worked with young people with learning disabilities in the past. He has also kept falcons and hawks and studied the birds for over 40 years.

He states these creatures are symbols of freedom and can provide people with as much empathy and care as other animals.

The falconry expert wants to launch this therapy with some help, admitting that he “can’t do this alone”.

Mr Brinkworth wants someone who has an experience of falconry, helping others and charity work to assist on this “major, and innovative, project” so that the 60-year-old can leave this type of AAP behind as his legacy.

If you think AAT might be ideal for someone you know, take a look at our therapists in Bedfordshire who can help you.