Barn Owl Ecology, Surveys and Signs (BOESS) course

Following on from our highly successful face-to-face BOESS and ABOSM training courses, our Conservation Team has been working on creating interactive and professional online versions of these courses that can be worked through at your own pace (there are no scheduled Zoom presentations). We are going to really miss delivering these courses in person, but our team are available via email, phone or Zoom to support you during the course and afterwards.

This comprehensive course consists of five modules:

  1. Barn Owl Ecology
  2. Legal Protection, Licence Applications and Minimising Disturbance
  3. Survey Methodology and Search Procedures
  4. Evidence of Occupation
  5. Mitigation and Planning

We advise allowing 10-15 hours to complete this course.

We are not currently planning to hold any face-to-face training, so we recommend our online course as the best way to learn about Barn Owl ecology and surveys.

If you have any questions about the course, please email We will soon be adding a FAQs page too!

Click here to purchase the online BOESS course


The BOESS course costs £300 per person, which includes a copy of the Barn Owl Conservation Handbook for attendees within mainland UK. If you are outside of mainland UK and wish to receive a copy of the Handbook, please contact us to arrange payment for postage.

The Barn Owl Trust offers a discount rate of £250 per person to anyone whose salary is paid directly by a registered charity. If you would like to apply for this discount rate, please email and attach your proof – for example, a redacted bank statement or pay slip, or a letter from your line manager. Please note that this is the only discount available.

Barn Owl Licences

The certificate from the online BOESS course is accepted in lieu of one reference for the Class Licence application to Natural England or one reference for the Bird Survey licence application to NatureScot. The four Statutory Nature Conservation Organisations have further information on their websites, covering:

If you are looking to find an ecological consultancy or Barn Owl group to gain experience with in order to get your second reference, we have a directory on our website with all of our local contacts – you may find a useful contact near you.

ABOSM course

Our team is now working on the ABOSM course. If you would like to register your interest for the advanced course, please get in touch on and we will email you with details when the course is available!

© All content of the BOESS Course* is Copyright, The Barn Owl Trust, Registered Charity No. 299 835