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The Barn Owl Trust

Conserving the Barn Owl and its Environment

Watch us on Youtube Follow us on Twitter Join us on Facebook Live Barnowl webcam direct from a barnowl nestbox at our Owl Sanctuary

About the Trust

Our achievements


Where do we start? So much has happened since we began in 1988. Here's just a few of our "firsts".

The Barn Owl Trust has:

Written and Published the Barn Owl Conservation Handbook: A comprehensive guide for ecologists, planners, surveyors, land managers and ornithologists. Includes in-depth information on Barn Owl survey techniques, relevant ecology, Barn Owls and the law, mortality, habitat management, use of nest boxes and Barn Owl rehabilitation.

Published a unique range of Information Leaflets covering all aspects of Barn Owl conservation including the first ever highly detailed information on Barn Owl release methods.

Produced the first ever Report on the survival of released Barn Owls - this led to the BOT joining two government working groups.

Drafted the "Code of Practice for the release of captive bred Barn Owls" on behalf of the UK Government and provided training for government inspectors.


Researched the effects of Barn Conversions (& site loss) on Barn Owls and the usefulness of incorporating provision for Barn Owls in new developments. This led to BOT's first scientific paper and authoring the first detailed guidance for planners, subsequently published by English Nature (now Natural England, a government body). This has now been superceded by 'Barn Owls and Rural Planning Applications - a Guide', published by BOT with funding and support from Natural England. (Download as a PDF from the side menu.)

Devised and implemented unique Barn Owl Conservation Schemes, which targeted a package of practical and advisory measures at all known breeding sites in certain Local Authority districts.

Erected over 2,000 Barn Owl nestboxes. Many of these are targeted at occupied nest or roost sites that are under direct threat of loss, although we also provide them at unoccupied sites where there is good habitat for Barn Owls but no potential nesting place, or sites where habitat is being created.


Carried out the most highly detailed County Barn Owl Surveys ever undertaken, anywhere.

Increased the Barn Owl Population by an estimated 37% over a ten year period in the Trust's home county of Devon - with help from supporters and other organisations. Devon Barn Owl Survey Report.


Investigated Barn Owl Road Mortality and the effects of major roads on the UK's Barn Owl population. Our report, based on a massive 15 year study, was the first to be published on this subject.

(with RSPB and the Environment Agency) the first detailed Investigation into Barn Owl Habitat Requirements in various UK landscapes. This guides Barn Owl conservation work in the UK through the identification of priority areas for conservation action.


Presented Research Papers on Barn Owl Road Mortality at the European Congress of Conservation Biology in Hungary and on Barn Owl Nestbox Design Criteria at the World Owl Conference in The Netherlands.


Advised on an International Volunteering Project for the Hungarian Barn Owl Foundation. And helped carry out the first-ever Radio Tracking Study of Barn Owls (Tyto alba guttata) in Hungary.


Created the first-ever Training Course for Ecological Consultants covering Barn Owl Ecology, Surveys, Signs, planning scenarios and mitigation measures.

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