Heligan Reveals New Baby Owlets As It Launches New Family Wildlife Activity Trail

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Kids Invited to ‘Go Wild’ and Experience Exciting Nature First Hand

Heligan Reared Barn Owl Chick July 2010

Heligan in the Summer is magical, and we wanted to give children the chance to interact with wildlife and discover some of the pioneering work we do with Nature, through doing the Trail. -- Peter Stafford, MD, The Lost Gardens of Heligan

There is a rare chance to see some very cute baby owlets at The Lost Gardens of Heligan over the next few weeks, on its brand new family Summer Wildlife Activity Trail.

The Heligan wildlife team have discovered three gorgeous barn owl chicks have been born in one of its nest boxes. As part of Heligan’s pioneering Wildlife Project, the chicks are now on camera in their nest and visitors will be able to watch them LIVE from the special Horsemoor hide.

The owlets are an exciting highlight on the new Heligan Summer Wildlife Activity Trail which invites kids to ‘Go Wild’ this August and is free to all family groups. It is being launched to encourage families and young visitors to get involved with the fascinating world of wildlife waiting to be discovered in the gardens and estate of Heligan.

"Heligan in the Summer is magical, and we wanted to give children in particular the chance to interact with wildlife and discover some of the pioneering work we do with Nature, through doing the Trail,” said Peter Stafford, MD of The Lost Gardens of Heligan. “Seeing the baby owls is the perfect way for kids to experience Mother Nature in action and learn how exciting wildlife can be.”

The barn owls’ story began in April, with a fight over a barn owl nest box sited on the edge of Horsemoor Wood. The box was fought over by a pair of barn owls and a pair of jackdaws both trying to use the box to nest in. The jackdaws won and successfully raised a chick. The barn owls however were not to be deterred and went off to find another purpose built barn owl box to use at Heligan.

Once the owls were settled a camera was placed outside to monitor their activity. Last week, under the supervision of world famous naturalist, broadcaster and conservation officer for the Hawk and Owl trust, Chris Sperring, Heligan installed cameras inside the barn owl nest box. The chicks were ringed by the barn owl trust and it is thought they are now around five weeks old.

The Heligan wildlife team, visitors and online Heligan wildlife followers are eagerly waiting to see if the chicks will successfully fledge in around three or four weeks.

Pictures from the nest box are being broadcast on Heligan’s dedicated wildlife web page heliganwild.com.

To arrange a visit to The Lost Gardens, or an interview with the Wildlife Team, or for further information on Heligan please contact:

Simon Whittam @ Onshore Media
on: 01752 823414 or 078 0241 6420
Or Dawn Bebe on 07831 790416

Additional Information:

Cameras on the Owlets
The camera view showing on heliganwild.com is one of four that have been setup to capture prey deliveries for a BBC programme currently being filmed at Heligan. The external view of the box will be added to heliganwild.com in one to two weeks before fledging, this is to preserve the life and reliability of the camera. Current prey deliveries are between nine to fifteen times a night, dependent on weather conditions, so there is plenty of activity to watch online. The camera views are also on display in Horsemoor Hide, the heart of Heligan’s pioneering Wildlife Project.

Wildlife Activity Trail
The Wildlife Activity Trail is being given out free to all family groups visiting the Lost Gardens and everyone who successfully completes the trail will be rewarded with a special “I Went Wild at Heligan” badge!

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Simon Whittam

Dawn Bebe
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