ELLIE HARRISON LAUNCHES APPEAL TO PROTECT BARN OWLS

Thursday 2nd June 2016

(c) Janet Marsh

Ellie Harrison, BBC Presenter and President of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, is today launching an appeal to protect vulnerable populations of barns owls in the county.

In a film she has recorded especially for GWT Ellie says, “In the valleys, fields and woods of Gloucestershire, enigmatic barn owls are iconic birds in our landscapes. But the wet winters that we’ve seen in recent years, have meant that fewer females barn owls have nested. And for those that have, conditions for hunting voles, their major prey item, have meant that fewer chicks have survived.”

Gloucestershire has traditionally seen large numbers of barn owls but numbers of breeding barn owls fell dramatically last year

Gloucestershire has traditionally seen large numbers of barn owls but numbers of breeding barn owls fell dramatically last year. A lack of nesting sites and good feeding habitat mean that many females didn’t reach the 350g weight they need to be to lay eggs.

However GWT has a plan and needs your help to raise £20,600 to install nest boxes, some with cameras in, for nesting barn owls as well as providing training in how to survey and monitor them, so we can learn more about this iconic species.

In 2015 GWT worked with the Barn Owl Monitoring programme in Gloucestershire to install ten nest boxes and within three days of them being installed there were barn owls using some of the boxes, so we know they work!

GWT has already managed to secure some thanks to a generous £5,000 donation from local business Grundon Waste Management to kick start the appeal but the local charity still needs to raise £20,600.

Andrew Short, Estates Director at Grundon, which works closely with many local businesses to improve their recycling and the diversion of waste from landfill, said: “This is a simple but smart solution by GWT to protect and improve the county’s barn owl population. We urge other individuals and businesses to come forward and support the initiative.”

To find out more and pledge your support visit www.gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk/barnowls

 

 

Thanks to Grundon Waste Management for their generous support to kick-start our appeal to make Gloucestershire a safe haven for barn owls