Gloucestershire

Owls hatch near Gloucestershire housing development

Habitat created at Nut Hill for the barn owl mitigation site
Image caption It has taken four years to develop the habitat adjacent to the development of 1,900 homes

Five owlets have hatched in Gloucester at a site created to attract barn owls away from a new housing development.

They were discovered in a nest box at Coopers Edge Barn Owl mitigation site in Brockworth - a habitat designed to move the owls away from 1,900 homes.

Barn owl specialist Colin Shawyer said it had taken four years to develop the habitat and was "very refreshing that it had all worked out so well".

A consortium of developers jointly own the land as a requirement of planning.

Before building work began the barn owls were breeding in an oak tree in the middle of the proposed site.

"Those birds needed to be retained in the area - they are specially protected - and so we had to set up a mitigation plan," said Mr Shawyer.

"As the development has progressed, thankfully the barn owls have moved into the new home."

Mr Shawyer, from the Wildlife Conservation Partnership, has a British Trust for Ornithology licence to disturb barn owls.

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