A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from the Staffs Barn Owl Trust, who I have been involved with over the last year. They asked if they could pass my details onto Georgina, a 13-year-old who was undertaking her own project to build a barn owl box. She also wanted to put a camera in it. Of course, I said it was fine and within a few days, I received an email from Georgina. Realising that she lived only about 20 minutes from me, I suggested that I went over to meet her so she could explain what she was doing and I could see if I could help in any way.
Today I drove over to Georgina’s house to find out more about this exciting project!
Georgina and her mum met me and it was not long before Georgina was explaining all about what she wanted to do. As part of a DT project, she has decided to attempt to design, build and install a barn owl box into one of the disused buildings on their property. Explaining that they had seen barn owls around the farm, particularly near these buildings, Georgina told me that the owls were already using the buildings at various points during the night and there was plenty of evidence to back this up. Not only did she want to put the nest box up, but she was also keen to get a camera inside, and this is where she hoped I could help. She had already done considerable amounts of research into all the different aspects of barn owl boxes and the recommendations regarding such boxes. Helen at the Staffs Barn Owl Group had also been out to help and advise her. I was greatly impressed with Georgina’s interest, enthusiasm and the work she has already done.
I am always very keen to encourage young enthusiasts such as her and I am keen to help her in any way I can. Obviously, I will greatly enjoy working on a project like this so close to my home…. I do not have a suitable place for a barn owl box here so, as I explained to her and her family, I would be more than happy to help her as it will also be a learning experience for me. I have not set up a box like this and have always wanted to! I have a few good contacts in the business as well, who I know will help us both out… we were getting very excited!
I was keen to get outside and take a look at the barn. Georgina explained that there are two disused buildings and both have had barn owls in them.
The broken windows and large, beamed space inside set my heart racing! They were such classic barn owl haunts and I was picturing the photo opportunities in those windows! We carefully went inside and I searched the floor for evidence.