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Is your area suitable for Barn Owls?

These maps give a general idea of the suitability of locations for Barn Owls. This can be used to plan future Barn Owl conservation action. For example, you can find out if installing a nestbox in your area is worthwhile.

Click on your region to access the Barn Owl Suitability Map.

Regional Map of the UK - Click a region England South WestEngland SouthernENGLAND - ThamesENGLAND - AngliaENGLAND - MidlandsWALESENGLAND - North WestENGLAND - North EastScotland - SouthSCOTLAND - North

How can I find my location on these maps?

The 10km Ordnance Survey grid-squares and names are shown on the maps. Each coloured cell within them represents a 1 km square.

For example, the highlighted cell point in the map below relates to the OS grid-square SE 4292
For example, 'Grid reference: SE420928' relates to:

  • The 100km square SE.
  • The 10km square SE49.
  • The 1km square SE4292.

Finding your location if you don't know your OS grid-reference

Go to this Postcode to 10 km square converter provided by the The Scottish Ornithologists' Club (SOC) and enter your postcode to find out which 10 km square you are in.

Barow owlet on branch richard tadman b cropped owlets page scaled 1 small

Understanding the maps

Red - Landscape very suitable for Barn Owls. 
The provision of 
nestboxes is the main priority. Foraging habitat should be improved if nesting success is low (less than 3 young per pair).

Cream - Landscape quite suitable for Barn Owls. 
The provision of 
foraging habitat is the main priority. Nestboxes should be provided where foraging habitat is above average or being created.

Blue - Landscape generally unsuitable for Barn Owls.
The altitude/
habitat/winter climate determine the area to be largely unsuitable for Barn Owls. However, if Barn Owls are already present, encourage as much as possible with the creation of foraging habitat and nestboxes.

Yellow Hatched Areas - Motorways and dual carriageways. No nestboxes should be erected within 1 km of major roads unless the road is screened by hedges or continuous tree lines immediately adjacent to the road surface.

Also displayed on the maps are landscape features to help you identify your location/study area. These are:
Blue lines - Rivers and canals
Black lines - Minor roads

Watch the video to find out how to manage land for Barn Owls.

The development of the habitat suitability map was greatly assisted by Dr. Barb Anderson as part of a UK Population Biology Network (UKPopNet) project 'Modelling distribution changes in British animals and plants' which was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (Agreement R8-H12-01), English Nature and latterly by Natural England.