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Re-locating a 6 ton Ash Tree for the Owls

On the morning of Friday 2nd July 2010, local tree surgeons, Ashley Beddis, Ben Andrews (pictured right) together with Sparrow Crane Hire came to the assistance of the Barn Owl Centre, the task was to move a special old pollarded Ash tree. Assistance was also provided by few more local businesses, these we have listed at the bottom of page.

The Ash tree is believed to be about 100 years old, it was already coming to the end of its natural life and with this it could of been hazardous as it was situated directly in the path of the new aviary site where the Centre's birds will be re-locating.

During the planning stages leading up to the removal of the tree, checks were made under licence to ensure that no nesting birds or bats were present. Earlier on in the year a pair of Kestrels nested in one of the hollows but sadly the nest failed because the male Kestrel was killed on the road that runs past the Centre. With this sadly happening the female naturally aborted the 4 eggs she was incubating, this was monitored by us using one of the Centre's CCTV cameras.

By moving the tree, we can position it as a dead wood within a more natural setting ready for the next breeding season, also it will be away from the new Owl aviaries and set within one of the Centre's wildflower meadows.

Ashley and Ben volunteered their skills alongside the co-ordinated efforts of Sparrow Crane Hire. The tree weighing over 6 ton was secured safely with chains before it was cut and lifted into its new safe location, once there the Ash tree was placed into a 6ft hole and encased with 6 cubic metres of concrete.

Ben who is one of the tree surgeons said ‘I have done some unusual things before but I have never cut a tree for it to be put back into the ground, all I can say is the Barn Owl Centre will do their utmost to help conserve the nesting of wild Owls & Kestrels’.

Preserving the tree and encasing the main trunk within a concrete base, this will extend its use for wildlife for at least another 15 years, even though its dead, it is still solid enough to provide a natural and safe tree house for nesting birds with its many natural nest holes.

As a registered Owl Conservation charity, we felt that moving the tree was an important task to do, if we had taken the decision to chop the tree into small peices for firewood then wildlife wouldn't of benefited at all, now it can and this will be for years to come. Now in place it looks like the Ash Tree has always been in its new location, why not come and visit the Centre and have a look.

To make this happen, a special thanks to the below
Hirebase in Gloucester for supplying a 3 ton excavator
Sparrow Crane Hire (Lee Sadler, John McCulloch & Crane Driver)
Ashley Beddis & Ben Andrews who were the tree surgeons
Easy Mix Gloucester for supplying the concrete mix.
C&G Concrete Pumping Ltd for pumping the concrete.
Wayne our builder who dug the hole & managed the pouring of the contrete.
James Homer for assisting everyone when extra help was needed.

All in all, a perfect job done without a singe hitch.

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The Barn Owl Centre is a registered charity dedicated to community education, conservation and bird welfare
Charity. No : 1097410
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