AboutGlos responded to all call to help on Twitter from the Barn Owl Centre for some volunteers to help a few weekends back. The Centre is somewhere I had wanted to visit for a while so had a free weekend so jumped at the chance. They were having some difficulties and needed to set in motion a plan to grown some natural boundaries to keep flying spaces safe for the birds of prey due to changes in the surrounding area and construction/ natural hedgerow removal work going on.
The activities on this trip included taking cuttings of willow trees that were destined for removal near the site. These cuttings were then arranged into new hedgerows to grow and flourish while creating safe flying space for the centre’s birds.
This time was a small turnout but achieved plenty between the 4 of us. Vinny was a great host and provided instruction, gloves, tea for refreshment and a tour of their operation including visiting the homes some of the birds, a tour of the farmland and their next box workshop.
The nature reserve surrounding the farm was great and had the opportunity to see many wild birds including songbirds, a barn owl hunting and some pheasants. Lots of native plants and trees were in abundance and made for a nice place to be. During the day I got to see a few owls and a Golden eagle in their homes, this was fascinating and very special to me.
What Is The Barn Owl Centre?
The Barn Owl Centre in Gloucestershire is a charity that provides Owl conservation support to farmers & landowners throughout the UK. They also have a dedicated Bird Sanctuary that gives 24/7 care & support to an array of captive-bred birds that over time have come into our care as either unwanted & mistreated pets. The centre runs rehabilitation programs which enable birds to be re-trained to re-gain trust in people.
The Centre is dedicated to the welfare of barn owls & birds of prey.
Conservation in the Form of Nest Boxes
The Centre work to keep Owl Conversation very simple and sell a range of Owl & Kestrel Nest Boxes. These provide a perfect choice that supports the welfare of Owls & Kestrels that take up residence & successfully raise their young.
These are manufactured on-site and can be purchased via their Website Shop.
Activities are arranged in advanced and best to contact to find out if and when they are available.
- Barn owl experience – This is a great hands-on flying experience that provides the opportunity for all ages especially families with young children to join us to fly Barn Owls.
- Hawk & owl experience – The birds you get to fly on this experience will be either a European Buzzard or a Harris Hawk plus one of the Owl species.
- Photography days – The perfect location to photograph owls & birds of prey.
- Birthday parties – An educational hands-on Owl Flying Experience tailored for children aged between 4 and 15 years old.
- Schools & Group Visits – Children from the age of 4 can fly trained Owls to the gloved hand whilst learning all about them. During the visit, all children will also be able to see a variety of species ranging from Owls, Hawks, Falcons & a Golden Eagle.
The centre as with most in the charity centre needs the help of volunteers which they greatly appreciate. They have opportunities for people to help;
- Admin – for those that enjoy working in an office environment, suitable for those with computer skills and good communication.
- Workshop – Helping to build the boxes that the centre builds and sells, carpentry skill is a great help but training is given to those that join in.
- Nature Reserve – Helping out maintaining the farm’s natural environment, just like the natural hedgerow building that I helped to build amongst other things. Tools and ground working equipment is provided for volunteers.
They also have some great media on their Facebook page, like this one.
The Barn Owl Centre is located outside of Gloucester near to Hempsted not far from the site of the weekly Car Boot Sale on the A430. The Full Address is Netheridge Farm, Netheridge Cl, Gloucester GL2 5LE.
Telephone – 01452 383999
Website – https://www.barnowl.co.uk/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/BarnOwlCentre
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/barnowlcentre
Photos From My Visit
Some general photos from my trip, including a fantastic rainbow that appeared while we were working.