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Hoot, hoot hurray for gift of new nest boxes

News release issued:

More owls may be spotted in the district thanks to a generous gift by a council volunteer and his family.

Mike Pagett, from Kidderminster, is a volunteer with the Wyre Forest District Council's Ranger service. He has been helping the team for the past five years. During that time Mike has worked at many of the authority's nature reserves. He has donated two new owl boxes which have been put up in the district's nature reserves. Mike made a special trip to the Barn Owl Centre in Gloucestershire to collect the nest boxes.

Mike said: “Close family friends left money to a number of animal charities in their will. One of the charities chosen was the Barn Owl Centre in Gloucestershire. My wife and I visited the centre to hand over the donation and we learnt about their nest box fundraising scheme. The centre kindly agreed to donate a couple of the boxes on behalf of our friends - Lynn and Graham Beazley - to the council’s rangers. I am sure our friends would be very proud to have these boxes put up locally, with the hope of them being used by barn owls or any other species. Our thanks to the rangers for getting them installed.”

The newly installed nesting boxes will attract all sorts of birds of prey, such as barn owls and tawny owls. They are designed for species which traditionally look for safe nesting spaces in the hollows of ancient trees. These specially made boxes offer a modern-day roosting site, giving the birds a chance to breed safely.

There have been many reports of birds of prey, like tawny owls and kestrels foraging around the district's nature reserves. The new nest boxes will help provide them with new breeding locations.

Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Community Safety, Graham Ballinger said: “What a fantastic gift, we are thrilled. And we hope as many people as possible enjoy their visits to our nature reserves.

“These are wonderful outdoor spaces, which we can all look after by following the countryside code, keeping to the paths and keeping our dogs under control. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for next year’s nesting season – March to August – and listen hard for those tiny hoots!”

Find out about volunteering with the Wyre Forest District Council Ranger service on our website or email our Rangers.

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