What are we doing?

The Barn Owl Recovery Project aims to help the barn owls of Gloucestershire recover and to provide safe places to nest to ensure better breeding success. 

Background

We have been working with farmers and landowners along the River Windrush over the last 6 years encouraging environmentally sensitive farming practices, which includes leaving grassy margins around fields. We have already put up 10 barn owl boxes as part of this Cotswolds Rivers Project. In the 2015, 2 out of the 3 nest boxes inspected had eggs and young barn owls in. The nest boxes were installed in barns known to be used by barn owls. The boxes were installed inside a building to help keep the young warm during cold spring weather. 

Barn Owl Recovery Project

The project will increase the number of nesting sites for barn owls by installing 60 nest boxes in barns where barn owls are active and there is good rough grassland habitat to support their prey. 

Barn owl boxes

  • We will construct 60 barn owl boxes. Old tea chests are perfect for adapting into barn owl boxes, if you have one which could be used please contact us on 01452 3833333.
  • We will install the boxes in pairs in barns - this gives the male barn owl space to go when the eggs hatch
  • Previously installed barn owl boxes will need repair and maintenance carried out for the duration of the project
  • We will engage with local landowners to survey their land for potential roost and nesting sites, identify sites to install the barn owls boxes and advice on habitat management for the barn owl.


Monitoring

  • We will establish groups of volunteers to monitor the boxes helping to contribute to important barn owl conservation research
  • High-quality training courses will be provided for nest box monitors enabling them to identify barn owl breeding signs. This will then be reported back to the Barn Owl Monitoring Programme
  • Barn owl chicks will be ringed by Mervyn Greening 

Threat mitigation

  • Construct floats to provide barn owls with a safe perch when bathing and drinking from farm water troughs
  • Liaise with the power company to provide insulation on power cable poles known to harm barn owls
  • Advise landowners on planting roadside screens to force the barn owls to fly up over the traffic to prevent collisions with vehicles and rodent control

The project will be run in partnership with Gloucestershire Barn Owl Group and the North Cotswold Ornithological Society.