The Suffolk Wildlife Trust's Community Barn Owl Project won the Community Landscape and Biodiversity category, sponsored by Ransomes Jacobsen, at the Creating the Greenest County awards recently. Ransomes Jacobsen manufactures commercial mowing and turf maintenance equipment and is a Textron Inc (NYSE: TXT) company.
Suffolk: Creating the Greenest County is an initiative supported by Suffolk County Council and involves a range of individuals and organisations across the county who, as members of various delivery partnerships, work to implement 'green' projects across the county.
The awards celebrate the environmental excellence of different organisations in Suffolk and highlight how communities, businesses and schools are leading the way on a wide range of environmental subjects, from cutting carbon to protecting local biodiversity. Known colloquially as 'Suffolk's Green Oscars', the awards ceremony was held at Wantisden Barns near Woodbridge, and attended by over 150 guests.
In 2007 Suffolk Wildlife Trust agreed to assume responsibility for the Suffolk Community Barn Owl Project from Suffolk Ornithologists Group. Using trained advisors the Trust responds to enquiries from landowners, assesses possible habitats and site suitability and gives advice on habitat improvement.
If a site is deemed suitable then the landowner can erect their own nesting boxes, made from plans supplied by the Trust or purchase boxes and, if required, have them installed by a tree surgeon. To date 480 boxes have been supplied by the Project and about 65 more have been made by others to approved designs. These, together with "discovered" existing boxes, means that about 1,000 boxes and nest sites are being monitored and data recorded.
Greg Spray, Marketing Manager at Ransomes Jacobsen, who presented the award to Oka Last and Steve Piotrowski representing Suffolk Wildlife Trust said,
"As one of Suffolk's oldest and most well known companies we are delighted to be the sponsors of this Community Landscape and Biodiversity award. The products that we manufacture help shape and maintain today's landscape, so it's a natural fit for our business. Barn owls are suffering as modern society intrudes upon their traditional nesting sites. This initiative not only allows for close monitoring of the population by trained volunteers, but also provides alternative sites to help increase the barn owl population across Suffolk. We commend their effort."
Steve Piotrowski and Oka Last receive their award
from Greg Spray of Ransomes Jacobsen