The Len Pick Trust and New College Stamford have worked together to complete a milestone conservation project for endangered bird life.
In response to declining nesting activity, the project sought to build a tower using recycled materials salvaged from a previously demolished barn, to encourage breeding of owls and kestrels.
With support from Carpentry, Electrical and Bricklaying students from New College Stamford, the new Owl and Kestrel tower has been constructed on farmland in Dyke, and as the tower will not be accessible to the public, the build has been commissioned to include a live internet feed.
The Len Pick Trust worked together with camera experts Wildlife Windows to provide the capability to transmit live images of the nesting box, via the trust website, during active nesting seasons in the future. So the progress of the Dyke owls will be available for all to follow.
It has been a fantastic opportunity for the students to gain first-hand experience in traditional building techniques using 100-year-old bricks in a now little seen Flemish bond.
Bob Sheppard, Lincolnshire adviser for the Barn Owl Conservation Network, oversaw the tower build and ensured the location and setting gave the best opportunity for this much loved, but endangered species to breed.
2015 was a difficult season for the owl community with little nesting activity. We may not see any residents in the new tower this spring, but this is a long term conservation project, so I am confident they will arrive as the tower and the location is perfect.
Charles Houseago, Chair of the Len Pick Trust, said:
This project has been a resounding success, thanks to the sterling help received from all the companies and individuals involved. Special thanks to William and Antoinette Ash for providing the location and assisting in putting the infrastructure in place for the future internet connectivity. Also a big thank you to Boss Cabins, leaders in design and manufacture of portable cabins who are based in Bourne, for donating the use of a crew cabin for the duration of the project.
The completion of the tower was marked with a celebratory opening to say thank you to all involved in making this community conservation project a success.
To follow the success of the project and to get updates of the towers live feeds, visit lenpicktrust.org.uk/, or to find out more about the course large variety of construction courses and apprenticeships at New College Stamford visit Stamford.ac.uk.