The full newsletter can be downloaded here: SCBOP Newsletter January 2017
SCBOP (founded in 2005) is dedicated to the conservation of barn owls and has now been running for 11 years. Its success has been much acclaimed and the project was very proud to receive Suffolk County Council’s Greenest County Awards on two occasions. The project’s principal partners are Suffolk Ornithologists Group, Suffolk Wildlife Trust and BTO, but a number of smaller independent projects also fall under the SCBOP umbrella including those administered by Dedham AONB and Stour Valley Project, Thornham Owl Project and Suffolk Owl Sanctuary.
The project as a whole has advised on the fixing of over 1800 barn owl nest boxes throughout Suffolk, on nature reserves, farmland and on community spaces like village greens and school grounds. In addition, the success of the project has resulted in requests for the fixing of boxes just across the boundaries in South Norfolk and North Essex. By providing an extended connected network of good habitat and nesting opportunities, we can give the barn owls the fighting chance they need to thrive. The project involves the whole community and the boxes are made by local organisations and monitored by an army of expert volunteers each year. This system of raising awareness, creating nesting opportunities and managing suitable nearby habitat is having a positive effect on barn owl populations across Suffolk. This is a project of which all Suffolk people can call their own and we can be truly proud of our achievements.
During the 2015/2016 winter period about 30 dilapidated boxes were replaced like for like and a further 46 boxes were installed. However, 42 boxes had either fell down or were in such a poor state of repair that they have been removed from the monitoring list and will be replaced only if further funding is forthcoming.