Health and safety rules can be a burden for some small businesses.
But for Birmingham-born businessman Richard Wall, it turned a lifelong hobby into a business worth more than £250,000 a year.
Employers’ reluctance to deal with pests like pigeons, or to let their employees do it for themselves, means Mr Wall’s falconry business has done a soaring trade in pest control over recent years.
“Before, if an employee had a problem with pigeons on a building at work, they’d go up a ladder or maybe send someone up a ladder for them,” said Mr Wall, 42.
“But you can’t just go up a ladder like that any more – not on your own.
"Health and safety is at the forefront of everyone’s minds at the moment, so the demand for falcons has become great.”
Mr Wall owns Heart of England Raptors, based in Warwickshire, and has seen the pest control business boom.
He took over the business after spending years there with the birds as a hobby outside his work as an IT consultant for Microsoft.
“When I left school my career path took me towards IT and eventually I ended up working for Microsoft, but falconry was always something that had been in the background for me.”
It was about nine years ago when he decided to ago he took falconry from a hobby to a career when he bought Heart of England raptors after its then owner retired.
“I’d been doing some work there on and off, and after a couple of years the owner asked if I’d like to take it off him. I’ve seen both sides of things now,” he added. “I’ve worked on desks and worked long, long hours for good pay, but now I’ve got a job where I’ve not got that nine-to-five mentality.
“It’s absolutely a good business and a good living. You are never going to make millions, but it’s all about the quality of lifestyle in the countryside.”
Although the company only has two paid employees – Mr Wall and his son – the combination of shows for visitors to Hatton Country Gardens in Warwickshire, lessons for aspiring falconers and the booming pest control business saw turnover at the firm rise to about £250,000.
He even had to take on temporary workers to cover the demand for birds of prey, although they were later replaced by volunteers – raptor fans like himself.
“I was really lucky there was the business just waiting here for me,” he said.
Two weeks ago, Mr Wall took part in the Skills for our Nation event hosted by rural skills body Lantra in Victoria Square, set up to encourage more people to work in the flagging rural industries.
The event also showcased the work of a farrier and dry-stone waller, among others.