Barn owl numbers have suffered through the loss of traditional nesting sites in old farm buildings and large hedgerow trees.
However, they will take readily to specially designed and expertly sited wooden nest boxes, which is a simple and effective conservation tool to increase the breeding habitat of the barn owl.
In 2019, a project to create a network of landowners and nest boxes across East Cleveland and the wider Tees Valley was set up – since then more than two hundred boxes have been built and placed so far. Funding from the Tees Valley Community Foundation has helped towards the cause; the mission is to ensure barn owls are around for years and generations to come.
Funding helps to support the barn owl monitoring effort, the purchase of materials for making the boxes, volunteers to travel to the area to monitor and maintain them, and rings to tag the owlets as part of studies into age and movement. It also helps towards the delivery of owl sessions to local school children and community groups.