(Above) Barn owl close-up © Ken Dolbear, MBE
(below) Barn owl in flight © Ken Dolbear (below) barn owl box © Joy Wallis
In an attempt to improve the barn owl survival rate this winter, Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) is calling for volunteers to help build boxes to provide threatened barn owls with shelter and safety.
DWT’s barn owl appeal was launched in June and received over-whelming public support, which has now enabled the conservation charity to use some of the £28,000 raised to start building barn owl boxes. A box building day will be held on Saturday 15th November at DWT’s headquarters, Brooklands Farm, Forston, Dorchester, DT2 7AA from 11am to 3pm.
2013 was the worst breeding season for 30 years
In 2013, barn owl numbers plummeted in the UK due to the worst breeding season for 30 years. Unusual weather such as long winters, cold summers and wet springs have made it harder to hunt, and changes in farming practices have meant loss of nesting sites.
Barn owl box making day on 15th November
DWT Conservation Officer, Emily Newton said, “We are confident that with a few good breeding seasons, barn owl numbers should rise again. Fortunately, there are some things we can do to give barn owls a helping hand, such as making boxes to give them a safe haven this winter. Anyone can be part of the team of volunteers helping to build these boxes. All you need to do is bring your enthusiasm, and we will supply the materials and assist where needed. I will be available to help and answer questions throughout the day.”
Boxes made will be taken to suitable habitat
The boxes made on the 15th November will be distributed to farms with suitable habitat in Dorset. Other work taking place will include visiting landowners to offer advice and how to manage land to benefit the barn owl, and delivering educational talks and guided walks for schools and communities to encourage recordings of barn owl sightings.
Find out more
For more information, phone 01300 321329 or visit our barn owl page. To find out more about the barn owl appeal, visit our barn owl appeal page.
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Sally Welbourn at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
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Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.