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If you are still searching for a unique Christmas gift for someone special in your life who loves the great outdoors, then you may like to consider a bespoke weathervane. These are high quality handcrafted steel metalwork items that are electroplated with zinc to protect them from rust, and finished with a durable matt black powder coat.
As well as providing the useful function of showing which way the wind is blowing, the weathervanes are decorative items made with a special laser cutting technique. The only limit on the design is your imagination, so you can individually commission a weathervane or other useful and decorative metal item such as a hanging basket bracket or a housesign.
This is a fabulous opportunity to create a personalised gift that reflects the hobbies or interests of the recipient. One of the most popular themes is the wonderful native wildlife that we are blessed with here in the UK. Here’s a look at a few favourite examples.
The distinctive form of the barn owl with its heart-shaped face and brown and white markings makes it an ideal subject for a laser cut design. They are nocturnal birds of prey that are resident in farmlands, wetlands, grasslands and tidal areas throughout most of the UK. They mainly prey on mice, voles, shrews, and smaller birds.
During hunting, they make haunting screeching and hissing sounds rather than hooting as the tawny owl does. They are extraordinarily well adapted to their environment, with very sensitive hearing and sharp eyesight for hunting at night, as well as long strong legs and taloned feet for gripping prey.
Barn owls have a large wingspan of 85cm, and their wings have soft feathers that allow them to fly quietly when they are hunting. They also have the owls’ famed ability to turn their neck and head 180 degrees each way. Their preferred nesting sites include unsurprisingly the cavities of barns and other old buildings. They may also nest in the hollows of trees.
The badger is another iconic British wild animal with distinctive black and white markings that are ideal to reproduce in a decorative matt black weathervane design. These fascinating nocturnal creatures live in clans of between four to eight animals in underground setts. However, they are essentially lone creatures who fend for themselves.
Badgers have a highly developed sense of smell that plays a vital role in social bonding, mating, and detecting warning signals. Their diet chiefly consists of earthworms, slugs, and snails, although in tough winter weather or very dry conditions, they may also seek out fallen fruit or even hedgehogs.
The hare, with its long ears, white tail and compact powerful body, is another favourite symbol of British wildlife. It is not in fact truly native to the UK, but is thought to have been introduced during the Roman era. It lives in farmland and grassland, nesting in shallow hollows of ground rather than burrows as rabbits do.
Brown hares have powerful hind legs that allow them to run fast, at speeds of up to 45 mph.