Wessex Water helps tawny owls to nest

The Cam Valley Wildlife Group received its £400 Watermark award for its new Tawny Owl project from Wessex Water's ecologist Ellen McDouall.

Seen here working on the owl boxes are Wendy Payne, Andre Fournier & April Totham.

“Cam Valley Wildlife Group is building on the network of over 50 farmers and landowners who enthusiastically supported our Barn Owl nesting project where volunteers currently monitor 70 nest boxes, together with 8 sites in trees. These sites currently support a breeding population of around 12 pairs which rear about 30 chicks of this rare protected species each year” explained project leader Andre Fournier, above centre.

“However the Group is aware that other species of owl are also in decline and need support. The Group has now launched a linked project with a focus on Tawny Owls building on previous success working with the same network of farmers and landowners without whose support such projects would not be possible.”

“The Tawny owl is the most common British owl and though it is a woodland bird it has adapted to live almost anywhere, including towns and inner cities” said Rich Harris who is leading the Tawny owl project, assisted by other volunteers.

“Toowhit, toowhoo” is a sound that most of us have heard but we cannot take for granted as in the south west their numbers are declining. Volunteers have so far built and erected 50 Tawny owl boxes. This Watermark Award will fund the materials and equipment needed to build about 20 more Tawny owl boxes and 10 Barn owl boxes. We are delighted for the support that Wessex Water has given our project.”

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