Barn owl boost after nest box success at coast park

A barn owl held by a licenced handler. The public must not handle the birds.

A barn owl held by a licenced handler. The public must not handle the birds.

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A beautiful yet endangered bird of prey has seen a boost in numbers thanks to a successful scheme creating breeding habitats along the coast.

The Lincolnshire Bird Club was delighted to announce that 10 barn owl and seven kestrel chicks had been recorded at six nest boxes it deployed at strategic sites in Lincolnshire County Council’s Coastal Country Park.

The success came as a welcome surprise after barn owls throughout the rest of Lincolnshire suffered due to this year’s exceptionally wet spring.

Club chairman Andrew Chick said: “It was quite a bad year for barn owls and their population seriously suffered but the ones on the CCP have done really well.”

The nest box scheme was supported by the county council as part of its campaign to enhance biodiversity along the coastal strip by creating more than 80 acres of new habitats, with a further 50 planned by the end of 2013.

Mr Chick and the county council hope the CCP, which runs from Chapel Six Marshes up the coast to Sandilands, can create a thriving natural environment and a boost to green tourism.

He said: “This area has the potential to support a huge variety of quite important species, with barn owls being just one of them and through the CCP we can ensure that future generations have access to the region’s fantastic wildlife.”