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Dorset charity seeking volunteers to save threatened owl population

Alli Enticott

Dorset Wildlife Trust are looking for more volunteers to help with their continuing Barn Owl project in 2016.

The charity started the project in 2014 after a dramatic decline in the numbers of Barn Owls in 2013.

Although the numbers of owls fluctuate naturally, 2013 was described as the worst year on record due to harsh weathers.

This decline prompted the start of the charity’s project to increase the Barn Owl population, and build better environments for owls to nest across Dorset.

Although the scheme has many volunteers already involved with building nest boxes, they are looking for more volunteers as the project continues into 2016.

As Emily Newton, Conservation Officer has said: “We always need more volunteers.”

Changing conditions with weather and land use has meant that owls no longer always have a home. Emily Newton has said: “Natural nesting places have disappeared over time”.

The more nest boxes built by volunteers the more can be distributed to farmers, hopefully improving the owl population in Dorset and surrounding areas.

The initial fundraising target of £27,000 was exceeded by donations from the public raising an incredible £30,000.

The Barn Owl project was expected to last two years, however with the extra money donated to the charity it has meant that they can go on with building more nest boxes to provide as many Barn Owls with a safe nesting space.

To find out more information or to become involved with the project you can visit the Dorset Wildlife Trust website or can contact Emily Newton via email- [email protected].