In 2020, Countryside Regeneration Trust was awarded a PEBBLE fund grant of £1,050 to replace six barn owl boxes on Lark Rise Farm and monitor the outcomes for 18 months.

The Countryside Regeneration Trust has successfully been welcoming barn owls for over 20 years at Lark Rise Farm, Barton. However, the existing boxes had started to deteriorate, and needed to be replaced to ensure the long-term survival of this iconic species on the farm. Originally, barn owls would have nested in the roof of old barns or hollow trees, it is now believed that up to 85% live in nest boxes due to loss of habitat. 

The PEBBLE grant paid for the wood and fixings to produce the barn owl boxes and they were mad by a volunteer, who is a qualified carpenter, and installed around the farm by the Countryside Regeneration Trust's Head of Monitoring, with help from other volunteers.

The design of the boxes was produced through work with a representative of the Barn Owl Trust, who also recommended where they should be placed and who will check inside the boxes, once a year, to see if barn owls are present. As a protected species, a licence is needed to check the owls and owlets, so as part of the ongoing monitoring, British Trust for Ornithology leg rings will be fitted to both the adult and young barn owls. All nest inspection and ringing will be conducted by trained, licensed volunteers and staff.  

Photo of barn owl chicks

Happily, breeding pairs of barn owls used two of the boxes in 2022 and four owlets were born.

Posted: 30 November 2022

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