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NWRC students create much-needed homes for endangered barn owls

28 November 2018
NWRC web WEBSITE NWRC Owls1611181

Creative woodwork students at North West Regional College have designed and manufactured ten bespoke owl boxes to assist Ulster Wildlife with their barn owl conservation work.

The students, who are currently studying for an OCN Level 1 in Digital Fabrication - Creative Woodworking, have carefully constructed the A Frame homes which will provide new dwellings for barn owls in the North West, which has seen their already tiny population plummet.

As part of their course, the young men, who study at NWRC’s Greystone Campus in Limavady, used Computer Aided Design, to produce the boxes which each have been inscribed with their own signature, and will now be transported to different locations in the area.

The boxes were recently presented to representatives from Ulster Wildlife at a special event held at Greystone Campus in Limavady.

Solene Loiseau from Ulster Wildlife thanked the staff and students from the college for their work in creating the boxes.

She said: “For the last number of weeks we have been working with the college to produce these boxes which are urgently needed to provide nesting sites for this endangered bird. We are delighted to be here today to receive the boxes and also deliver a talk to let the students know more about how important this work is.

“Currently there is a dire shortage of nest sites for barn owls, and the boxes will encourage the owls into new sites in Limavady and Magilligan where there is an opportunity for suitable foraging. With these boxes we can monitor the behaviour of the owls, and ultimately improve the plight of this much-loved species.”

Alan Starrs, NWRC Lecturer said: “The students did exceptionally well in creating these boxes. As part of the process they used CAD Design and the CNC machine to create the different parts, and then assemble them each with their own individual signature.

“In total ten owl boxes have been created and each of the students got to know more about the important work of Ulster Wildlife with the education talk they delivered today.

“We plan, in late Spring 2019, to arrange a site visit so each of the students can see where their owl box has been erected and we can check camera footage to see what impact this has had on the owl population coming into that area.”

For more information on Digital Fabrication or Joinery courses at NWRC please log on to

To find out how you can help barn owls thrive in Northern Ireland, visit

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