About the Trust
What we do (in brief)
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We listen, talk, read, type, drive, and carry stuff around... In many ways Barn Owl Trust people are quite normal but we do spend much more time outdoors and up ladders than most...
On a typical day there are around ten of us here at the Trust's base, in an atmosphere that varies from peaceful and highly productive to over-stretched and stressful. As well as staff and volunteers in the office, there are usually a few of us out and about... perhaps one or two are doing fieldwork, another doing a school visit, and one in the workshop.
Enquiries, Advice and Information about Barn Owls.
Like many small under-resourced organisations we do struggle at times, and nothing takes up more of our time than incoming enquiries. Over 41,000 people or organisations have been in touch with the Barn Owl Trust since 1990. In every case the advice we give has to be spot-on and we keep meticulous records of each communication and the information we provide.
Research and Records
Since 1988 we've been recording sightings of wild Barn Owls along with roost sites, nest sites and casualties too. We currently have over 16,000 records of wild Barn Owls. We also record all the sites where we have done practical and/or advisory work to encourage wild Barn Owls - more than 1,600 at the last count. Keeping detailed records has enabled us to carry out some pretty amazing Barn Owl conservation projects as well as innovative research!
Practical and Advisory Conservation Work
Our priority is to ensure that existing nest sites continue to be occupied and that they produce more young to repopulate other sites. To this end, most of our practical and advisory work is targeted at occupied sites and this grass roots approach to population recovery is only possible because we've been so focused on record keeping.
As well as doing our Barn Owl conservation work, we unashamedly use Barn Owl decline as a way of showing people the environmental consequences of everyday human activities through our educational talks, visits and resources.
"This is environmental education at its very best" ~ The Times Educational Supplement.
Barn Owl Conservation Work in Devon and the South West UK
Erecting nest boxes, on-site advisory visits, site-survey consultancy work, detailed recording of Barn Owl sightings, occupied sites and casualties, county Barn Owl surveys, receiving owl casualties, rehabilitation and owl releases, educational visits to schools, talks to adult groups, professional training courses.
The full range of our activities is carried out throughout Devon and Cornwall (and to a lesser extent in Dorset and west Somerset).
Conserving the Barn Owl and its Environment
Barn Owls in Britain are very widely distributed and individuals forage over very large areas. Conserving the entire Barn Owl population cannot be achieved by creating isolated nature reserves. It requires the cooperation of numerous landowners across vast areas. It requires a government that's prepared to grant-aid wildlife friendly farming, and most important of all, it requires that we all make the right choices when we go shopping...
The way we spend money is perhaps our biggest influence on the environment. Whether we choose to buy food from producers who farm in wildlife-friendly ways, or we simply buy the cheapest, has a huge influence on the fortunes of farmland wildlife...
...the causes of Barn Owl decline are all man-made. If we want Barn Owls, in fact, if we want life as we know it to continue, we need to make the right choices.