Conservation Grade farmer, Mark Tufnell and his team were presented with the inaugural CG Barn Owl Project trophy by Professor David Bellamy this afternoon. The presentation took place under the winning nest-box on Mark’s farm near Cirencester.
The trophy is awarded to the CG farmer who has the largest number of fledged Barn Owl chicks from a single nest-box. Five chicks were successfully fledged from this nest-box (right) in 2011. The farm grows oats for Jordans Cereals and wheat for Allinson and Burgen bread, and Mark has been a member of Conservation Grade for a number of years. The wildlife habitats on his farmland are numerous and are managed like a crop, with the same amount of care and attention.
2011 was the first year of the project and Conservation Grade would like to thank the 50 CG farmers involved for their enthusiastic participation. All the nest-boxes will be monitored annually and more CG farmers will be taking part this year.
Professor David Bellamy is a keen conservationist and delighted in showing us what we can discover from owl pellets that were found in the nearby barn.
Despite the cold wind, Luna the Barn Owl, from The Barn Owl Centre of Gloucestershire, seemed to enjoy the attention and was very patient with us all!
For more information about the award, have a look at our latest press release.