Charity desperate for donations to help protect Owl population in Suffolk

Fledgling barn owls are counted by the group to investigate how thier population is doing. Pictures:

Fledgling barn owls are counted by the group to investigate how thier population is doing. Pictures: SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUARY - Credit: SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUARY

Suffolk Owl Sanctuary has launched an urgent fundraising campaign to allow them to develop and maintain their wild owl nest box scheme which helps protect endangered species.

The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary alos counts outher birds of prey such as this baby Kestrel. Picture: SUFFO

The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary alos counts outher birds of prey such as this baby Kestrel. Picture: SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUARY - Credit: SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUARY

With Britain’s owl numbers declining, the charity helps provide, site, build and maintain nest boxes for various species including Little Owls, Tawny Owls and Barn Owls providing shelter and relative safety for the birds.

However, their old 4x4 vehicle, which was affectionately known as Mabel is no longer in use. The car is vital in their work, allowing the team to reach remote areas to install, maintain & monitor nest boxes.

The Sanctuary is now urgently appealing for donations to allow them to purchase a new off-roader which would allow them to continue their work.

Steve Duffell, a falconer at the sanctuary who has hands-on experience with the nest box scheme managed by the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary, said: “Two out of the five native species of UK owl are amber listed for conservation importance, meaning they are in population decline.

After years of use, the sanctuaries beloved 4x4 is now out of use and a new one is needed. Picture:

After years of use, the sanctuaries beloved 4x4 is now out of use and a new one is needed. Picture: SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUARY - Credit: SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUARY


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“Part of the reason for this is the lack of nesting sites due to the demolition of old barns and outbuildings, the loss of connected habitat and the depletion of old, hollow trees lost to elm disease.

“All of the sites that I have visited are tucked away out of site, usually well off the beaten track and some distance from tarmacked roads.

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“A serviceable 4x4 will enable us to site new nest boxes and maintain our existing network of 290+ throughout the region.”

Over the past 10 years, 715 Barn Owls youngsters have been ringed as part of the East Anglia Wild Owl project during checks of their nest boxes.

Little Owls are also counted by the group. Picture: SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUARY

Little Owls are also counted by the group. Picture: SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUARY - Credit: SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUARY

However, in recent years, Tawny Owls have seen a gradual but consistent decline in their number with only 19 young recorded in 2017.

The species saw its conservation status upgraded from green to amber in November 2017 meaning that it is now at the second highest level of concern.

The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary are urging people to donate by going to their website at www.owl-help.org.uk.

The group build and help maintain nest boxes for different owl species. Picture: SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUA

The group build and help maintain nest boxes for different owl species. Picture: SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUARY - Credit: SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUARY

Young Barn Owls are ringed for identification. Picture: SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUARY

Young Barn Owls are ringed for identification. Picture: SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUARY - Credit: SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUARY

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