Children in Years 3 and 4 at Beech Grove Primary School were given a compelling and instructive insight into the lives of barn owls when David Ramsden MBE, co-founder of The Barn Owl Trust, visited the school this week.
David explained the ways barn owls’ habitats have changed over the last century in a way the children could visualise, using just a chalk board. They were led to understand how farming practices, the encroachment of roads and the development of the countryside for leisure have affected the owls’ food sources, limiting their ability to breed successfully and threatening their survival.
Following the talk, the children were awed by the experience of sharing their classroom with the barn owl David had brought with him. He also explained how the Trust – based near Dartmoor – is working with farmers to provide habitats that can sustain a barn owl population and raising awareness of the ways owls can be protected.
The talk is part of the children’s project on conservation which refers to the Rio Olympics later this year to focus attention on the destruction of natural habitats such as the Amazon rain forest.