Hands-on help for owls

Tuesday 13th September 2016

Jake, Mark, Josh and MervynJake, Mark, Josh and Mervyn

Two young brothers from Bromsgrove have got hands-on to help owls in the county.

Barn owl (c) Karen SummersJacob (11) and Joshua (14) Blackmore of Breme Park, Bromsgrove, got in touch with Worcestershire Wildlife Trust with an offer to make owl boxes for the Trust’s nature reserves. Over the summer, with the help of their dad Mark, they made and erected a tawny owl box for Chaddesley Woods nature reserve and a barn owl box for Eades Meadow nature reserve.

Jake, who attends Aston Fields Middle School, explained “I’ve always loved owls and really want to see one. We thought we’d just find one somewhere in the countryside – perhaps if we were able to find a nest. But it’s just not that easy.

“Dad joined us up as members of the Wildlife Trust earlier this year so we thought we’d offer our help – if we could put up a couple of owl boxes, then hopefully we’ll be able to see owls using them.”

Hands-on project

Josh, Mark, Jake and James with barn owl boxAccording to their dad, the boys have been showing a growing interest in wildlife over the last few years, inspired both by his own enthusiasm for it and by programmes like the BBC’s Springwatch.

Mark said “We’ve visited various places around the UK, like the Dyfi Osprey Project in Wales, in order to see more wildlife. But we wanted to do something close to home to help our own, local, wildlife.

“With the boys being so desperate to see owls, we thought it would be a great project to make a couple of boxes and put them up somewhere we could easily get to.

“Now the boxes are up, we hope to be able to monitor what uses them as well as get more involved with other aspects of the Trust’s work.”

The Trust was keen to help the youngsters and found a couple of suitable locations that were not too far from the family’s Bromsgrove home.

The family put up a tawny owl box in Chaddesley Woods in late June and erected a barn owl box at Eades Meadow at the end of August.

The two birds have different nesting preferences and use different habitats.

Tawny owl (c) Jason CurtisTawny owls usually live in the same wood for their entire lives, using their senses and familiarity with the wood to know their way around even in the darkness.

Barn owls hunt over open fields and are able to pinpoint the sound of a small mammal even through snow.

James Hitchcock, the member of staff responsible for Eades Meadow, commented “It’s fantastic that Jake and Josh are so keen to help and they’ve made a great start with building and erecting owl boxes.

“It’s really great to see the next generation of conservationists already getting involved and making a difference.”

Jake and his brother Josh, who has just started at South Bromsgrove High School, are now looking at what other wildlife projects they can get involved in with the Trust. 

Tagged with: Owls