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School welcomes home for endangered barn owls

An Ashford school has become a new potential home for endangered barn owls thanks to care and carpentry by some local electricity engineers.

From Press releases - 25 July 2014 12:00 AM

School welcomes home for endangered barn owls 2 (2).jpg

An Ashford school has become a new potential home for endangered barn owls thanks to care and carpentry by some local electricity engineers.

UK Power Networks’ staff suggested making an owl box after visiting Wyvern School, in Chart Road, to remove a redundant electricity pole from the playing field.

Field engineer Rick Brooks talked to the school’s site manager and electrical craftsman Paul Beeden used his carpentry skills to make the box from scratch.

Rick said: “I rang the school site manager and asked if he would like us to take the equipment off the pole, cut it at 15ft of the ground and put an owl box on the top.

“There was no point taking something away that we could leave in place to benefit local wildlife and schoolchildren. It’s a semi-rural area so we hope owls will use the box.”

On Tuesday (July 22), children from the school gathered round to watch as engineers fixed the box to the top of the former electricity pole.

Jim Keefe, site manager at the school, said: “The kids are very excited about the new owl box and have been checking it every day to see if the owls are in residence. It was nice to see a large company like UK Power Networks putting something back into the community, especially at our school.”

UK Power Networks is a supporter of the nine wildlife trusts in the areas where it delivers electricity across the South East, London and East of England.

Ian Rickards, Ashford area warden for Kent Wildlife Trust, said: “Numbers of barn owls have declined over recent decades due to the loss of old derelict buildings for nesting, loss of rough grassland habitats for hunting and the use of pesticides. We would encourage others to emulate UK Power Networks and provide alternative homes for these iconic birds.”