Read about the life and work of the Attingham Wardens

Attingham Park is a National Trust property comprising of an 18th Century mansion set in a Repton landscape; the Park and wider Estate includes a deer park, walled garden, several miles of the rivers Severn and Tern, extensive farmland and woodlands.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Owl boxes

Over the weekend the senior park and estate warden, Colin, and myself put up two new barn owl boxes in the hope that we will attract a few more breeding pairs into the park. Barn owl boxes need careful placing - the should be 3-5 metres high, face east, north-east or south-east and have no branches obstructing the flight path to and from the opening. It is also advantageous to have other branches nearby for the young owlets to practice moving about close to the nest. We found the perfect spots in some veteran oak trees in the deer park, one at the east side and one on the west. The boxes are away from the public paths to ensure that the owls are not disturbed by noise.

Accompanying us in our task was volunteer Peter Marshall who has very kindly spent hours building us a variety of bird boxes, from barn owl nest boxes to robin boxes. His talent with woodwork is a definite asset to the Trust so I would like to thank him again for his time and effort.

Peter, left, and Colin with one of the boxes
that Peter has made for us




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  2. I love the design of these owl boxes; I am about to construct my own for a little added mice control on my property. Have you been successful in attracting owls? Do you have any tips?

  3. Hello,
    Unfortunately our newest boxes, and even some of the more established and well-used barn-owl boxes, have failed this year to be used. In previous years however, we have had breeding pairs in several across the estate.
    Placement of the boxes is important - it must be high enough off the ground with plenty of room for flying to and from the entrance. We usually look at veteran trees and barns for signs of owl activity - pellets etc - and place a box nearby. I once thought I had found the perfect tree, scooted up a ladder for a final check and found three chicks in a hole in the trunk already!
    Nearby hunting ground is also important - tussocky grassland and hedgerows are particularly attractive to mice and voles and so to owls. A few fence posts near hunting ground can also provide a good place for owls to perch and watch for prey.
    Good luck!