BBC Midlands Today were interested to find out why the barn owl had suffered so badly following the winter of 2013, when a late snowy spring had a devastating impact on breeding pairs, and what efforts are being done to help barn owls in the future. The Barn Owl Trust has recently published a report on the State of UK Barn Owl Population- 2013 after numbers of barn owls plummeted in 2013, but they are hopeful that the barn owl population will recover providing we have a run of several mild winters.
David Gregory-Kumar from BBC Midlands Today was keen to help install a barn owl nest box in an ash tree, overlooking perfect barn owl habitat of grassland and wild flower hay meadows. The nest box used is part of the Churnet Valley Living Landscape Project and has been sited within the barn owl stronghold around the Leek area.
Conservation efforts to help the barn owl include creating good habitat with an abundance of small mammals for the barn owls to hunt and the provision of nest boxes, which provide 75% of known barn owl nest sites in the UK. Staffordshire Wildlife Trust has been requesting that the public sends in details of any recent barn owl sightings as part of its monitoring programme which will also help BOAG target areas for nest boxes.
If you would like to see BOAG in action with help from David, we will be on air on Friday 30th May as part of BBC Midlands Today's Springwatch feature.