Suffolk Community Barn Owl Project
This important project was started by the Suffolk Ornithologists’ Group in 2005. The principal partners of SCBOP are SOG, Suffolk Wildlife Trust and British Trust for Ornithology with a number of other organisations involved.. In recent decades there has been a sharp decline in the population of Barn Owls in Suffolk. This has come about due to changes in farming, with the loss of rough grassy areas and field edges. Another factor has been the loss of nest sites from barn conversions and less hollow trees.
It was noted that the decline had been halted in recent years, partly from increased hunting areas for the owls where farmers were taking part in environmental schemes and were leaving grassy areas suitable for their prey. With the population recovering there was still a lack of suitable nest sites along with competition with those remaining. As Barn Owls readily use nest boxes the project came about to redress this problem and provide specially designed boxes to benefit the owls.
The initial aims of the project are to:
- Erect over 500 barn owl boxes in Suffolk by 2010
- Increase the number of barn owls in Suffolk
- Advise landowners on habitat management for barn owls
- Increase awareness of the barn owl
- Monitor barn owl populations
For details on Barn Owl boxes including placement and how to build your own can be found on the SWT Bringing back Suffolk’s Barn Owls page.