Woking Operation Owl gets Nationwide Publicity

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We were somewhat surprised but rather pleased to be contacted by the Guardian! They wanted to do a piece on our Operation Owl Project, so last Wednesday on the 3rd of September the journalist Patrick Barkham visited Horsell Common and Heather Farm to interview Alison, Paul, David and myself. If you’d like to read the article – http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/sep/08/operation-owl-boxes-help-save-beautiful-bellwethers-of-biodiversity

A great place for a walking interview – Woking’s great new Wetland Reserve at Heather Farm, which will be open to the public next spring.

We have now erected 14 owl boxes around the Borough, and are keen to purchase and erect more boxes. Thames Water have agreed to give us a grant of £2000 and we have agreed to erect 3 boxes at 3 local sewage works which provide some ideal if rather smelly habitat for owl boxes.

As the project is a community project, we are delighted to have a new partner. Ellie Paterson of the Surrey Youth Support Service and the group of young offenders that she works with have joined forces with us to support our local wildlife and community. We are blown away by their target of getting 10 boxes to us by Christmas. This will enable us to get cheaper boxes, help teach youngsters a new valuable skill and perhaps even encourage within them an interest in wildlife and ornithology.

We would love to hear from other groups or individuals that we can work with to support our wildlife so please get in touch. We are particularly looking for young ornithologists, who would like to act as dedicated box wardens, to monitor their usage, to look out for and collect any regurgitated owl pellets and to let us know if they have any new feathered residents next year.

To aid our research, we would also like to hear of any reported sightings or soundings of any owls or other birds of prey around Woking. As part of Woking’s LA21 Biodiversity strand, we would also be interested to hear from any groups or individuals if they are involved in projects that support wildlife in our local area.

If anyone would like to become more involved in this exciting project, please email me at charles.barber13@gmail.com. We will have meetings every couple of months to keep the momentum up with the project, and discuss how we can make it as effective as possible. Details of such meetings will also be posted on our new Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/OperationOwl . Of course, like everyone else, we like to be ‘liked’!

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