Barn owls

Barn owls, their eggs and young are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) in response to declines of an estimated 70% since the 1930s. All birds, their nests and eggs are protected by law and it is an offence to intentionally or recklessly disturb a nesting barn owl.

Our ecologists are appropriately licensed and qualified to carry out barn owl surveys and can advise on effective approaches to mitigating for the loss of barn owl roost and nest sites.

On most occasions barn owl surveys will be requested in relation to planning applications to re-develop buildings located in rural areas and it is often practical and economically efficient to undertaken barn owl and bat surveys simultaneously.

A barn owl survey will involve first contacting organisations that may hold records of barn owls and/or their nest sites for area. A visual survey will then be undertaken by a licensed surveyor who will look for evidence of barn owl roosting or nesting. An assessment will be made of the type and level of use of the surveyed building by barn owls and any requirements for further survey.

Survey Timings

Surveys of buildings or structures for barn owl nesting may be undertaken at any time of year.  In most cases a single survey should be sufficient to determine whether a building is used by barn owls and the way in which they use the structure.


Where barn owl nest and/or roost sites are being redeveloped or destroyed alternative nesting or roosting provision should be provided. Large scale projects may also impact upon barn owl feeding areas, in which case mitigation plans may be designed to include compensatory or additional patches of barn owl feeding habitat. At DWS we are well placed to advise you on the best approach to accommodating barn owls within your development in a way that is both cost and time effective and sensitive to the needs of the barn owls themselves.

Contact DWS to discuss your requirements -

01388 488 885

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