In 2009, 26 Barn owl nest boxes were supplied and distributed to landowners throughout
the Stour Area, with a grant from Stratford District Council and Stour 2020 Vision
Group, as a Local Biodiversity Action Plan project. In 2012, we joined with the South
Warwickshire Barn Owl Survey team and now monitor over 40 boxes in the local area!
In 2014, with the continued cooperation and support from local farmers and landowners,
we hope to increase that number to over 50. Many have also improved habitat through
agri-environmental schemes. These have great benefits to wildlife and we hope they
will continue to be rewarded for this essential service to nature, under any new
schemes in the CAP Reforms!
Some local landowners have also increased the number of nest sites by installing
their own Barn owl nest boxes. These can be made to go inside buildings (left) or
fixed to a tree, post or wall outside (above).
“The barn owl is on Schedule 1 of both the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981 and
The Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order, 1985; therefore the birds, their nests, eggs
and young are fully protected at all times throughout the UK. It is also an offence
to intentionally or recklessly disturb barn owls at an active nest site with eggs
or young or before eggs are laid, or to disturb the dependent young. This is not
normally a problem on working farms and farmers are often in the best position to
ensure freedom from disturbance. The Act caters for incidental disturbance, which
could not reasonably be avoided.” RSPB.
Not just Barn owls have benefited from the boxes, The box on the right has been
home to 2 broods of Kestrels since it was installed!
(The Kestrel has also suffered a significant decline in recent years!)
If you have suitable habitat and are thinking of installing a Barn Owl box, or have
already installed a box in the Stour Area, please do let us know as our fully BTO
licensed team will be happy to assist and advise on box types and locating. Barn
Owl boxes also need regular maintenance if breeding is to be successful, some of
which can only be done by BTO licensed personnel.