Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Bringing back Suffolk's barn owls

Barn owl numbers have declined markedly in the UK since the 1930’s. Suffolk Wildlife Trust has already acheived success by creating habitat & providing next boxes, as a result we have seen breeding numbers increase in targetted areas. Now we know this approach works we need to take it countywide.

history Campaign has now closed

It ran from 10:00 AM, 6 December 2010 to 10:00 AM, 4 January 2011

Registered Charity in England and Wales (262777)

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  • Environment/ConservationEnvironment/Conservation




Barn owl numbers have declined markedly in the UK since the 1930’s. The last comprehensive national survey was conducted in 1985, which showed a barn owl population for Suffolk of 150 breeding pairs. All 150 pairs were nesting in farm buildings or in natural sites such as hollow trees and none were nesting in nest boxes. By 2005, when the Suffolk Community Barn owl project was launched, there were thought to be around 125 pairs, restricted almost exclusively to north east Suffolk.


Having identified the lack of natural nest sites as the critical limiting factor for barn owl, we have worked with community groups and landowners to install over 1000 nest boxes in areas where there are known or historic populations. Barn owls take readily to nest boxes and a team of trained volunteers monitor the boxes and ring the chicks. To date our work has focused on the east and north east of the county – our goal now is to extend these methods to the whole of Suffolk.