Our owl sanctuary is situated in a quiet wooded valley on the edge of Dartmoor near Ashburton, Devon, which has been the base for the Trust since its inception in 1988. Our owl sanctuary is also a wild owl rehabilitation centre – a place of peaceful retreat for rescued birds – and therefore it’s not open to the public.
Why do we keep rescued owls in captivity?
Release of wild Barn Owls: Most of the injured wild owls we receive make a good recovery and overall, 48.8 % are rehabilitated and released back into the wild – this type of success story is our favourite outcome!
However if, for example, an owl recovers from a broken wing and can fly, but not well enough to survive in the wild, it seems better to give it a home than put it to sleep. Fortunately, wild owls seem to adapt well to sanctuary life. Perhaps for them, freedom from starvation is more important than freedom of movement?
Also, we occasionally take in captive owls from people that can no-longer keep them. Perhaps someone through no fault of their own, can no longer keep their captive-bred Barn Owl, or perhaps a sanctuary for disabled owls is forced to close. Captive bred Barn Owls cannot be legally released into the wild – and may not survive. Whatever the reason for their time here, the owls protected in our sanctuary can live out their lives in peace and tranquillity, being expertly cared for by people who are really passionate about owls.
Our Owl Sanctuary aviaries
We have 7 large purpose-built aviaries for permanent resident owls plus 5 rehabilitation aviaries for owl casualties.
Our biggest owl aviary was built in 2010 by a group of 32 apprentices from Western Power Distribution (now called NationalGrid) who spent 4 days at the Trust during their Community Project. This involved the building of a new aviary to replace 2 old ones that we had to demolish earlier in the year. A few days later 45 new resident owls arrived from a sanctuary that was being forced to close.
Barn Owl Adoption Scheme
Long-term owl care can be expensive and time-consuming. Our Barn Owl adoption scheme helps to cover the cost of their care and also raises a little bit of extra funding to support our wild Barn Owl conservation projects. So, please adopt one of our resident owls! The owl adoption packs we send out make great gifts too.
PLEASE NOTE: We do not operate a Visitor Centre, but if you would like a closer look at some wild Barn Owls we have a Barn Owl webcam page with links to various Barn Owl webcams from the UK and further afield.
You can also visit us and find out more about our work by booking onto one of our events. (Please note: We do not display live owls.)