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The Barn Owl Trust

Conserving the Barn Owl and its Environment

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How to manage land for Barn Owls

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Cattle on rough grass

Managing land for Barn Owls involves providing the ideal habitat for field voles, their main prey. This can best be described as "long rough tussocky grass with a deep litter-layer". It can take the form of whole fields, field margins, field corners, woodland rides, or tree plantations and can be created on farms, smallholdings, or even in large gardens (in rural areas).


Habitat creation and management is BY FAR THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR WILD BARN OWL CONSERVATION, and for this reason there are a lot of pages and slideshows devoted to it elsewhere on the site. It's not possible to tell you all about managing land for Barn Owls on one page!

However, there's a huge amount of information on foraging habitat - creation and management in the Barn Owl Conservation Handbook


Whether you are a major landowner getting involved in an agri-environmental grant scheme or a smallholder who'd like to encourage Barn Owls to your site, there will be something of use to you in the links opposite.

Please browse the links, it is surprising what you can do to help Barn Owl populations even if you only have a small amount of land. Within a landscape, Barn Owls will use small patches of suitable habitat to hunt over. If you live in a rural area and have a small patch at the bottom of your garden, consider managing it as rough grassland, but do bear in mind that Barn Owls are not woodland birds.


It is also worth remembering that making these areas suitable for Barn Owls will benefit a huge number of other species of bird, butterfly, insect, amphibian...the list goes on.

Rough grassland


The Barn Owl Trust is dedicated to conservation & education and does not operate a visitor centre.
Barn Owl Trust staff and volunteers
Waterleat, Ashburton, Devon TQ13 7HU
+44 (0) 1364 653026