Lambourn Valley Barn Owl Group
Barn Owls have a new home at Bagnor, thanks to Lambourn Valley Barn Owl Group and Berkshire Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust. LVBOG installed the big triangular box at Rack Marsh, one of the wildlife trust’s nature reserves.
Ruth Reid, a volunteer for LVBOG who is also a voluntary ‘watcher’ for the BBOWT Rack Marsh nature reserve, came up with the site choice. Ruth announced, “I’m really pleased to see an owl box on the reserve. I feel sure that there are excellent hunting grounds in the local area and young owls moving through the Lambourn Valley should find this new home very enticing.”
Jason Ball, who leads the owl group, said, “LVBOG’s mission is the recovery of the local Barn Owl population in the Lambourn Valley. We want to see Barn Owls from Shaw to Sheepdrove.”
“This box will help owls and add to the biodiversity of the BBOWT Rack Marsh reserve, which is best known for the rare Desmoulin’s Whorl Snail. I can imagine an owl floating silently across Rack Marsh, on its way to catch voles from the rough grass along the river valley, and returning here to feed chicks. If we are lucky, owls will find this soon and could start a family in summer 2010.”
Jason added, “Breeding sites and prey habitat are gradually increasing in the Lambourn Valley, with the help of farmers and the experts at the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group who help the farms to gain stewardship grants.”
The Barn Owl is protected by law, and nest sites cannot be disturbed except under special licence. Jason is a qualified BTO ringer and hopes to ring owlets next year.
Lambourn Valley Barn Owl Group needs donations to continue its work. Cheques should be made out to The Sheepdrove Trust, a UK registered charity which kindly supports the group, and sent to Jason at Sheepdrove Organic Farm, Lambourn, Berks, RG17 7UU.
INFORMATION FOR EDITORS
CONTACT: Jason Ball, founder of LVBOG. 07719 225965
PICTURES: © Jason Ball. Please credit as Jason Ball.
1) Ruth Reid with the Barn Owl box. 2) Ruth Reid, Bridget Griffin and Jason Ball stand below the new owl box.
Lambourn Valley Barn Owl Group is a partnership of volunteers, farmers and landowners working together to boost the local population of the Barn Owl.
Lambourn Valley Barn Owl Group volunteers operate under the auspices of the Lambourn Valley Countryside Project and its Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG).
Donations: cheques should be made out to The Sheepdrove Trust,
a UK registered charity which kindly supports the group.