Last week saw the successful running of 4 days of our Barn Owl courses – 2 days of Barn Owl Ecology, Surveys and Signs (BOESS) and 2 days of Advanced Barn Owl Surveying and Mitigation (ABOSM). Whilst they are tiring for David and Matthew, who teach the courses, and Jo, who does all the organising, we all get a great sense of achievement once they are over, knowing that there are 40 satisfied participants all fired up about Barn Owl conservation!
BOESS has been running since 2005 and has trained over 650 ecologists, planners, volunteers etc. to date with 30 of those taking part last week. We run the course at the beautiful Fowlescombe Farm, a fantastic setting that really sets the tone for the day. With a mixture of classroom presentations, tasks and a site visit to a genuine Barn Owl site, we aim to give a varied and interesting day. Feedback we received for our BOESS courses last week includes:
“Fantastic day, I feel I’ve learnt a lot and in a way which will hopefully stick!”
“Very engaging presenters who knew the subject very well – was truly inspiring.”
“Course was fantastic. Would definitely recommend”
We take the feedback provided to us very seriously and it was off the back of this that we developed our ABOSM course in 2011 to give more in-depth information and look at other scenarios that affect Barn Owls, such as major roads and habitat management. We hold the advanced course here at the Trust offices giving us the Lennon Legacy Project to act as an example of good habitat management for Barn Owls. A second site visit extends the participants’ knowledge of Barn Owl signs and survey techniques. 20 people came on the course last week and all left satisfied and confident to pursue more Barn Owl work. The best feedback we received by far came from Gareth Parkinson, an ecologist in the North East, who said that ABOSM was one of the best courses he had done in 10 years as a professional ecologist. Comments like that definitely make all the hard work worthwhile!
Thank you to everyone who came on the courses last week for their kind words and great feedback. More information on our courses including when the next ones will be taking place can be found on our training courses page.