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Action Plan:  Species
Birds
Barn Owl (Tyto alba)
UK Lead Organisation:
N/A 

County Lead Organisation:
N/A 
 
 
Objectives
  • To reverse the decline in the Staffordshire barn owl population.

Policy
  • Seek to ensure Environmental Stewardship identifies key areas for barn owl habitat and nest box provision. (DEFRA)
  • Seek to incorporate beneficial farmland bird management practices into Staffordshire County Council farms estate tenancy agreements. (County Farm Estates)
 
Protection
  • The barn owl receives special protection as a Schedule 1 species under the UK Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981 (amended by the CRoW Act, 2000).
 
Management, Monitoring, Research and Survey
  • DEFRA's Environmental Stewardship is available across the county, and includes measures such as management of hedgerows and arable grass margins, provision of beetle banks, reversion of arable land to grassland, extensive management of pasture and wet meadows, hay meadow management and the provision of fenced grass margins within improved grasslands. Areas of set-aside with high conservation status can also be entered into the scheme. All these measures can help provide suitable hunting habitat for barn owls.Promote full use of the new Multi-Annual Set Aside option to deliver 5 year management plans to benefit farmland birds including barn owl. (RSPB, DEFRA)
  • Develop links with major landowners in the county to advise on management issues to benefit farmland birds. (SBOAG, RSPB, FWAG, SCC, Water Companies)
  • Seek to ensure existing nest sites and foraging areas are protected from damage by informing planning authorities of their locations. (SBOAG, SWT, RSPB)  
  • Ensure bird recording in the county continues to highlight key sites. (SBOAG, RSPB, SWT)
  • Publicise the need for barn owl records and encourage the public to report sightings. (SBOAG, SWT, RSPB)
  • Ensure all barn owl records collected are passed to SER. (SBOAG, SWT, RSPB)
  
Advisory
  • Amongst the farming community increase awareness of the decline that this species has suffered, and the measures that can be taken to reverse the decline. (SBAP Partnership, WMBC, CLA, NFU)
  • Make use of existing literature to promote conservation measures for these species. (SBAP Partnership)
  • Promote barn owl conservation to developers by advising on the preservation and creation of nesting sites and other habitat features. (SWT, LA)
  • Among planning authorities, raise awareness of legislation protecting barn owls and opportunities for barn owl conservation within the planning process. (SWT)
 
Further Information
 
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