The Species Habitat Protection Group was established by Jonathan Sloan in 2006. Jon had worked for many years with Protected Species, monitoring sites, in particular Barn Owls and their habitats within Wales. Jon and Jan Sloan are both fully licenced ecologists running a successful consultancy within Wales based in Llandinam, Powys. They work within both the Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia National Parks.

Due to barn conversions, loss of habitat and especially neglected and redundant barns in upland areas, the future of the Barn Owl was uncertain. Therefore, it was deemed necessary to take swift action to protect these beautiful birds and the Species Habitat Protection Group was formed on this basis.

Our Group

Our group is committed to preserving upland barns which are known to be breeding sites for Barn Owls, some of which are in a very poor state of repair due to the farmers not requiring them any longer and not planning on conversion works. Barn Owls, their nests and eggs, are on the red list of endangered species and are fully protected under the 1981 Countryside Act under UK legislation. Our charity is very small and mainly relies on donations, coffee mornings, concerts and presentations given by Jon. We have a very enthusiastic team of volunteers with a very wide range of practical skills and a passion for our wildlife.

Our Project Work

Our first project was in January 2009, which was to reinstate part of the roof on an upland barn where Barn Owls had been breeding for several years and being faithful to their site had produced three chicks in 2008. Sadly two perished due to the poor state of the barn. All work had to carried out between November and February out of breeding season, not ideal conditions in upland areas. The rewards were, however, most gratifying as the adult birds returned to site and raised four healthy chicks in 2009 and have continued to breed each year since despite two atrocious winters.

We have now part re-roofed a number of other barns. Current work involves making and maintaining nest boxes within barns and on trees and surveying suitable habitat for Barn Owls.

prev next