The Barn Owl Centre. A registered charity dedicated to community education, conservation and bird welfare

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Help wild barn owls

What can non landowners do to help Barn Owls in the wild.


What can landowners do to help wild Barn Owls.

Supportive Habitat:
Create additional areas of rough grassland or field margins of approximately 2 metres in width or wider, alongside field boundaries. Additional grassland boundaries help to create the necessary habitat needed to support voles & Barn Owls.

Linking grassland areas or field margins:
By linking these areas to other areas of adjacent farmland creates additional vole habitat, this creates good hunting areas for Barn Owls.

Here's a bit of advice when searching for an Owl Box on the internet. Please try not to get too confused with the vast amount of box designs & the location of the entrance hole.The entrance hole on this box is purposely set at an height that is safe to Owlets, it's very beneficial as it allows the Owlets to gain visual education on their environment. We feel it's important that owlets do see the outside world & it's dangers as they grow up whilst they naturally stay in the safety of their nest.
Also this provides visual benefits when monitoring the nest box. If still confused, call us & speak to our conservation team.

Nest Boxes:
Help the Barn Owl by positioning Owls boxes in trees or in undisturbed buildings, addition nest or roost sites are desperately needed to support Barn Owls.

Existing Pasture:
Try not to drain or re-seed these areas, these damp areas create good vole habitat, the vole being the essential food needed to support the Barn Owl.

Try not to over graze areas of grassland, if areas of the countryside are grazed lightly these areas can sustain a greater vole population.

Arable Land:
Try to leave or create a rough grassland corridor or field margin of 4 metres or wider alongside field edges, this acts as a great buffer zone where it is good for all wildlife including voles, this being the most important food source for the Barn Owl.

Large Trees that stand alone in fields or hedgerows or trees on the edge of woodland facing open countryside.
These are excellent places to position Owl nest boxes.

For Habitat & Land Management Advice. FWAG: Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group

Barn Conversions & Site Developments

Development Sites & Barn Owls:
Please go to the law section on Wild Barn Owls:
If a breeding pair of Barn Owls are resident they cannot be disturb until after the breeding season, this can be up to late November. If you are planning to utilise a building where there are Barn Owls, please think about their welfare & think nest boxes for Owls, these create important places to roost & nest.

Renovating Buildings:
If you are intending to restore or to renovate an isolated building within the countryside & you think that Barn Owls are present, please think about the above & the laws that protect Barn Owls during their breeding season.

Protective Measures:
During the delayed building work & breeding season think about positioning nest boxes within a close proximity to the site, if you need advice please call us on 01452 383999.

Think Owl Window:
An Owl window is an opening that is formed in the wall to allow the Owls access into the building, this can be located in the top end of a gable wall leading to an attic space of a building. These small openings were commonly incorporated many years ago into old farm buildings to simply allow the Barn Owl in to control rodents. Once an Owl window has been created, simply position a decent size Owl Box on the inside of the hole, this helps to provide the Owls with their own personal attic space, this is a great way of sharing the building. If you need further guidance please read the next section or give us  a call.

Incorporating an Owl Window:
When building work starts to commence think about incorporating in your plans an Owl Window into the gable end of the building, this can to be positioned within the top part of the wall, which faces away from the prevailing wind. The opening size of the Owl Window should be approximately 6 inches wide by 8 inches in height.
To protect the inside of the building from any mess created by the Owls you can position on the inside edge of the wall a nest box. The size of a nest box should be approximately 2ft square, it is always a good thing to have on the nest box an inspection hatch. This can be incorporated on the back end of the box facing the inside attic space. This simple allows the box to be inspected by a licenced person during the breeding season or to be cleaned out during the winter months.

Isolated & Derelict Buildings:
Nest boxes can be positioned within the building with added nest boxes positioned within trees in close proximity to the site, this creates the additional choice of sites for Barn Owls if and when needed.


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