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Once a common sight in the countryside, the iconic barn owl is now, sadly, one of our most threatened species.

Vulnerable to the impact of changes in agriculture, loss of feeding habitat and adverse weather, this much loved farmland bird has suffered a severe decline in Cheshire in the past century.

Over time their hunting habitats and number of natural nesting sites have plummeted. Those that do remain exist in isolation, often separated by busy roads, making travel between hunting grounds and nest sites perilous.

Summer 2013 was the worst on record in recent times for barn owls in Cheshire, with just 19 pairs recorded, down 80% on the previous year. Although 2014 saw their numbers, thankfully, increase they’re still nowhere near the 1930s peak of 240 breeding pairs.

We want to give them a fighting chance, but we desperately need your help to do that.

We know that by providing healthy, joined up habitats, or ‘Living Landscapes’, wildlife can thrive. Barn owls need meadows and field margins where they can hunt for small mammals on which to feed, plus nest sites such as hollow trees and barns.

With your support we can continue to look after high quality habitats to ensure that barn owls have good food supplies and places to nest both on our nature reserves and by working with farmers.

Unfortunately, we can’t do anything about the weather but by investing our resources in managing their habitat we can make barn owls more resilient to nature’s other challenges.

Please make a donation today and help us to bring barn owls back from the brink.

Watch this beautiful bird in action.

 

Thanks to photographer Ron Thomas and Steve Dewsnap, of Raptor Rescue, for this footage.

Find out more about your local barn owl groups by visiting: http://www.cheshirebarnowls.co.uk/