Could you host a box ?
An amazing 286 Somerset parishes have come forward to host a barn owl nest box as part of the Somerset Community Barn Owl project. There are 40 parishes that we've yet to receive an enquiry from so if you live in one of these areas, shown on the map below, below contact us using the form at the bottom of the page.
You can see if your parish has its box by downloading our list of parishes which we'll be updating monthly (last updated 3rd July 2014.) If your parish doesn't have a box yet you can apply by completing the enquiry form at the bottom of the page.
To get a barn owl box up in each of Somerset’s 335 parishes we need your help to find suitable locations. You don’t need acres of land just a willingness to manage some of it for barn owls.
What makes a suitable location?
- Barn Owls need areas of rough grassland to hunt for their favourite prey - field voles and other small mammals.
- You don’t need to have rough grassland to apply for a box but you do need to be prepared to take advice from our expert Chris about how to create and manage this habitat. This could involve working with neighbouring landowners to achieve this.
- You don’t need to have barn owls at the moment. Where suitable habitat is created and managed, alongside a nesting box, barn owls are likely to set up residence.
- Size isn’t everything! It’s the quality of the habitat that matters. Even a garden, in rural surroundings backing onto rough grassland, may be able suitable.
- Download our information sheet 'How Can I Help Barn Owls on my Land.'
What do I do next?
- If you’d like to host a box fill in the contact form below and Chris will get in touch and arrange to visit you to see if it’s a suitable location for a box and advise you.
- We will provide one free barn owl box, per parish. You can see which parishes have already received their free box by downloading the list of parishes above. If your parish already has a box it is possible to buy another box - Chris can help with this so fill in the form below.
- Once you’ve got your box you’ll need to put it up yourself in an appropriate spot - often on a tree.
- Monitor your nest box for any signs of use. Download our information sheet 'Monitoring a Barn Owl Nest Box'
- Don’t forget to keep in touch and let us know how you get on. You can report sightings of barn owls using our online form.
- Keep up-to-date with the project by signing up for our free, bi-monthly wildlife e-bulletin.
Apply for a nest box
As a Schedule 1 Specially Protected Species it is against the law to intentionally disturb nesting barn owls, so boxes should only be checked outside of the breeding season or by someone like Chris who is licenced to inspect barn owl nests. Barn Owls usually breed between April and September (although nesting can take place in almost any month) and the average brood size is between 4 and 6 owlets.
||The Somerset Community Barn Owl Project is funded by Viridor Credits Environmental Company; a charity that distributes monies from the Landfill Communities Fund.
||The project is a collaboration with the Hawk and Owl Trust, a national charity dedicated to conserving wild birds of prey and owls and their habitats.