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Sutterby Church

Sutterby Church

A redundant church in the Lincolnshire Wolds has supported a resident pair of breeding barn owls for several years, with the birds gaining access via unglazed windows and breeding below the roof. 

The recent discovery of historically important medieval art work to the interior wall surfaces, masked by a later lime wash covering, and the wish by the charitable organisation who care for the building to now reveal and display these gave rise to potential issues in terms of disturbing a Schedule I breeding bird species and the owls fouling the re-exposed drawings with their droppings. 

During 2011 an approved scheme of mitigation was therefore devised and implemented which initially involved the advanced provision of three alternative barn owl nesting boxes in nearby trees and a farm building prior to excluding the barn owls outside the breeding season and reglazing the windows. 

The barn owls readily transferred to one of these boxes to roost and breed and have continued to remain bonded with the site during the works which have recently been completed.

During the course of the works a separate owl 'loft'  with a dedicated entrance through the gable wall was additionally installed and there is every hope that future monitoring will reveal take up of this loft by the owls.