September News Bytes 2022

These newsbytes have appeared on our social media sites, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram during the month and have been pulled together here.

Plymouth vets


Rescue and rehabilitation is hard work…

We don’t always succeed – but we do always try…
Thank you to Plymouth Veterinary Group for their unstinting, caring and professional support.

The Plymouth Vets posted:
“Unfortunately this case does have a sad ending, but we chose to show it to highlight the brilliant work undertaken by The Barn Owl Trust, and how much our team value wildlife. We will always do whatever we can to help them if there is a chance of release or wild sanctuary. The Trust asked for our help to treat this Tawny Owl with a broken wing, and they would provide rehabilitation for her. Our Exotics Advanced Practitioner Richard with our Exotics Certified nurse Karen, performed a surgical repair, under a carefully performed anaesthetic in line with best avian practice. Sadly, she passed away during her recovery period. This can happen with wildlife who aren’t used to human interaction, and who have been through a stressful event, despite all of our careful efforts. We will continue to act in the best interests of wildlife under our care.”


Get involved in climate action!Cc

Help deliver a message on climate action to the world’s leaders at COP27!
Find out how the Climate and Ecological Crisis affects Barn Owls.

The Climate Coalition posted:
“7,767km. 38 days. One non-stop relay. And you can join in!
From the 30th September thousands of people are joining together for an epic, record breaking relay from Scotland to Egypt to help deliver a message on climate action to the world’s leaders at COP27.
Find out more and get involved



Juvenile dispersalBarow young four tree phil thorogood 160819 (c).jpg cropped, resized and credit

Young Barn Owls are currently dispersing from their nest site to find their own home ranges!
During the day they need a roost site where they can rest, and for young owls the initial choice is usually on a tree branch. However, dry and sheltered nestboxes provide increasingly vital refuges for them as winter weather sets in. Also, if they discover a likely-looking home ,it may encourage them to stop their wandering and breed in the nestbox for the following spring.
If you’re a practical person, you can build your own nestbox using the plans on our website!


Pole-mounted nestboxes for Barn Owls…4 poleboxes colour edit

These four poleboxes were made for one order! The best option for a Barn Owl, is permanent provision ( for example a space built within buildings or a wildlife tower). The next best option is an indoor nestbox and then a nestbox in a tree. If none of these are possible at a site, then a pole-mounted nestbox is a great option! Poleboxes need to be very large, due to the lack of other shelter and of other exercise opportunities for owlets. They also need to be secured to a 6m telegraph pole! You can find out all about poleboxes for Barn Owls on our website here.


Have you ever noticed a dead Barn Owl on the side of the road? 305214589 10158301830742003 1910458944313048314 n

Unfortunately, major roads are a significant cause of mortality for otherwise healthy Barn Owls. We take records of sightings and use these to highlight sections of roads that are particularly hazardous. If you spot a dead owl on the road, please record your sighting on our Barn Owl survey website.
Top tip: When you see a dead Barn Owl on a road, look out for landmarks such as buildings, bridges or laybys, because these can help you record your location accurately.


Great Big Green WeekGbgw

Do we really need to be concerned about the heatwaves and storms we keep hearing about? Surely these things have always happened? Surely Heathrow Airport recording a runway temperature of 40.2 degrees Celsius on 19th July 2022 is nothing to worry about?
Join the wave of action sweeping across the nation this September for #GreatBigGreenWeek and book David Ramsden for his “Climate and Ecological Crisis – What’s all the Fuss About?” talk.
If you are interested in booking this talk for your local group (whether that be for your neighbours, a group of work colleagues, the local community at the town hall) please contact us on


Roe Deer 2022 09 12 17 37 33

Roe Deer are regularly seen on our reserve at the moment! Our Reserve Officer and Volunteer Coordinator Intern, Harry, took some wonderful videos this week (see the full videos on our Facebook page). You can see the female in the first video (and half of the male!) and the male in the second video. Check out our wildlife diary for more info about the species we’ve seen recently. Recent works on the reserve have included a lot of cutting back Blackthorn encroachment, as well as bramble clearance in the orchard.
Harry is going to be setting up a regular volunteer group, so if you are interested in joining in with some practical habitat management on the reserve, let us know! Email


Once again – Thank you!!Bo

In just a couple of weeks we have jumped from #372 to #172 and that’s all because of your votes!
In case you missed our post at the beginning of August, will distribute £45,000 between the top 30 voted-for charities after 30th September. Please show us your support by visiting and voting for the Barn Owl Trust because the more votes, the more chance we have of receiving a donation.
We appreciate every single vote we receive; Thank you!


AMBIOS Conservation VolunteersAmbios sept 2022 1 Ambios sept 2022 2

Thank you Ambios Ltd volunteers for all of your help with our research project on conservation grassland management!
As a small charity, volunteers make such a difference to what we can achieve. If you are interested in volunteering with us, get in touch on



Field Voles 2022 10 04 16 22 37

See full WTSWW post and video here.

Field Voles are the main prey species for Barn Owls in Britain, along with Common Shrews and Wood Mice. Field Voles create burrows through the thick litter layer at the base of rough grassland and emerge through little holes to graze on the surface. Rough grassland provides small mammals with plenty of cover, which allows their numbers to really build up!
If you manage land in the countryside, the best way to encourage Barn Owls is to increase their food supply by creating strips or patches of rough tussocky grassland at least 4m wide, with a litter layer of dead grass, at least 7cm deep. Find out more here.

More about Field Voles!

How cute are these cosy Field Vole pups?! See the full video on our Facebook page here.2022 10 04 16 25 40

Field Vole (Microtus agrestis) population numbers fluctuate annually, in what is often referred to as the ‘vole cycle’. Depending on geographical region, field vole numbers will build-up over several years before peaking and then crashing down ready for the cycle to begin again. To read more on the ‘vole cycle’ see here. You can also find out more about these lovely little creatures, including a video of an adult, on the The Wildlife Trusts website here.

Video by Corrie Warburton


NestboxingPip nestboxing 140922 old box square Pip treebox 140922 close up with label added square

Last week, our Conservation Officers went out to this site to put up a new Barn Owl nestbox in this beautiful tree! The second photo shows the old box which was beginning to fall apart. Barn Owls have been using this site for a long time, so the replacement box will ensure they have a safe nesting site for at least the next decade.


Visit to Northern Ireland

Towards the end of September, Ulster Wildlife Trust hosted two of our Conservation Officers. Mateo and Matt worked with Katy and Ross from Ulster Wildlife to help support this Barn Owl Project. The Ulster team are doing amazing work for Barn Owls in Northern Ireland! We would like to say huge THANK YOU to Katy Bell and Ross McIlwrath from Ulster Wildlife for hosting our Conservation Officers, Mateo and Matt, for 3 amazing days!

During the trip, Mateo and Matt visited a farm run by a member of the Northern Ireland Wildlife Friendly Farmers’ Union. It was on the shore of Strangford Lough and included some fantastic habitat management, with nettle banks, small arable fields, headlands and wild bird food crops. It’s been a successful Barn Owl site for several years and the owner remembers owls from when he was a youth!

Ni trip



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