Yesterday we had the HS2 Barn Owl men around to check for owl nesting sites so that they could block them up. We have got a barn owl box in the barn next to the house which we assumed would be fine as that barn isn't going to be knocked down and is about 100 meters from the line. We were horrified to find out that this box is to be blocked 'for the safety of the owls' . It is actually in case the nesting birds slowed down the construction. Apparently there is to be no wildlife for 175 metres both sides of the line. For every 28 metres of line equals a hectare that is to be devoid of wildlife.
We didn't ever actually manage to persuade the owls to nest in that box, I guess because it was too close to the house but every winter for the past twelve years we were privileged to see the owls roost there at night time and have the thrill of seeing their ghostly flights over our heads when we went out to do the horses.
To give a balanced report, the Barn Owl man was fantastic and really cared about trying to mitigate the damage by putting a box elsewhere. Whether the owls will ever find the box remains to be seen.
However, it was shocking to find out how much of a strip of sterile land there will be and the huge amount of habitat that will be gone forever. It really is SO sad and makes me feel sick to the heart about what is happening for the sake of this railway that no one wants
|Goodbye to our owls.|