Barn Owls hunt over rough grassland and woodland edges where they can catch their small mammal prey such as voles, mice and shrews.
Their numbers fluctuate depending on prey numbers and the weather – as rain and snow can stop them hunting and finding food. Historically, loss of hunting habitat and nesting locations have reduced numbers too, as well as hazards such as cars, electricity lines and fences.
In Northumberland National Park, we have been working with landowners, volunteers and contractors to make nest boxes and locate them in good areas close to good hunting habitat. Each year, the boxes are checked and young are ringed so we can learn more about the population in the future.
By creating more sites for nests, we can increase numbers to help the population survive years when there is bad weather or low food availability.
If you’d like more information about Barn Owl conservation, visit www.barnowltrust.org.uk