Owls Nest in Peace
Article Date: 2007-03-01 Source: http://www.midsussextoday.co.uk
Hurstpierpoint, Sussex, England, U.K. - Endangered owls being squeezed out of their traditional habitats have been
thrown a lifeline by wildlife watchdogs in Hurstpierpoint.
Conservationists in the village have taken beleaguered barn and tawny owls under their wing by providing 28 new nesting boxes.
The rising trend of barn conversions has put barn owl numbers in serious danger
with a 70 per cent decline in the population in the past 50 years.
Tawny owls have also lost out with their habitats drastically eroded by
development in recent years.
Michael Nailard, chairman of Hurstpierpoint Society's woodland, flora and fauna
group, decided he had to take positive action to shift the balance at least a
little more in their favour locally.
He said: "Owls are magnificent creatures. They are large birds of prey and the
larger species are disappearing from our countryside.
"Wildlife corridors are fine but are a poor substitute for wide open
The five-month Hurst and Sayers Common Owl Box Project meant weeks researching
the owls' nesting habits and surveying woodland areas with the co-operation of
local landowners to find possible sites.
Members of the biodiversity group had to find new homes for the owls well away
from roads and footpaths but have the scope to provide good food sources.
The owl boxes themselves are about the size of a triangular dog kennel and
needed to be sited on a large oak about 10-16ft above the ground.
Michael and fellow group member Alan Murray gave up work for three days spending
dawn to dusk trudging through fields with ladders and the heavy boxes made of
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