Nurturing Precious Barn Owls and Wildlife at High Barn
The Story of our Barn Owls at High Barn
Looking after wildlife, especially our Barn Owls has been a priority to us on our farm. Since we began our development of High Barn, converting a range of redundant Victorian farm buildings into five luxury holiday cottages, we have taken care to look after and nurture the wildlife that occupies the site and its surroundings. We are lucky to have a huge variety of species living nearby or on-site and, over the last ten years, we have improved their habitat significantly. Consequently, our small mammal, amphibian, insect and bird populations have flourished, as the combination of mature trees, large pond, rough pasture and wildflower strips provide a rich hunting ground. We, and our visitors are particularly delighted to view the lives of the Barn Owls who have found High Barn to be the safe haven we hoped it would be.
During construction we erected an alternative nesting post in the nearby field to provide a temporary refuge for the Barn Owl previously regularly spotted inside the old buildings. In doing this, we were following the advice of the local Barn Owl group, who then helped us to locate and fashion a purpose-built ‘bespoke’ owl box within the eaves, ready for her return once our construction work was completed. Much to everyone’s pleasure, she and a partner returned almost immediately the following Spring and produced chicks. Since then Barn Owls have become permanent residents . The photo at the top of this page shows a Barn Owl chick being ringed by an approved specialist.
Webcams to every Cottage
Our cottages at High Barn have a live 24 hour web-cam link into the nest and this can be streamed to all the T.V. sets in both living areas and bedrooms. We know of several guests who find the birds’ activities so interesting, they themselves become ‘night-owls’!
In warmer months it’s not unusual for hares to roam really close to the buildings, especially early in the morning or around dusk and deer are regularly spotted in the surrounding fields or close to the pond.
The biggest surprise has been the noticeable increase in birds of prey – sparrow hawks, kestrels and buzzards.