Here at the Barn Owl Bill Owl and Bird of Prey sanctuary we are hopeful that 2014 will be a better year for us than 2013. 2013 most certainly had it’s ups and downs, but we made it out the other end and we are now looking forward to what 2014 will bring. Hopefully it’s going to be a great year for everyone.
So 2013 brought us some big changes.
Back in April of 2013 we were asked to downsize the sanctuary by South Ribble Council, following a ‘complaint’. We were not given any more information than that and were simply told that we needed to halve the number of land we were using and therefore that meant reducing aviaries and associated buildings we had on the land, which we had originally been given permission to use.
Obviously this was a blow to us, not only would it mean a lot of work to achieve the target of halving the sanctuary but it would also mean we would be less equipped to provide safe haven for the birds we had and any new rescues that may come our way. Halving the sanctuary meant losing 13 of our aviaries and our large holding bay. We set about the work as best we could.
The council paid us another visit 3 months later to check on progress, we had taken 4 aviaries down at this point and they seemed pleased with our progress, stating that we had achieved more than they thought we would have.
They returned again in October, by which point we had taken down a further 5 aviaries plus a shed. The South Ribble Planning Officer said we had done enough and so long as we moved another of our sheds forward and fenced everything off that would be fine. The problem with that is the shed they have asked us was lifted in to place with a crane…. so we will need a crane to move it anywhere, something which we cannot afford. We will have to wait and see what happens on that one.
In the meantime what has this meant for our birds and also our important rescue work. We have been left with 15 aviaries in total with 2 holding bays. Prior to the downsizing request the sanctuary was home to 83 birds, there are now 58 here. So far, our rescue work has not been affected, which we are extremely thankful for but it could so easily have caused problems if we had nowhere to hold rescue birds while they received vet treatment, heal and were allowed time to recover before being released. All of this activity requires use of our limited resources.
The hardest part about this, is the fact that the land we have now vacated cannot be used for any other purpose, it will simply be left in a derelict state.
So that’s the story so far on the downsizing of the Barn Owl Bill sanctuary. We are still here and still working hard for the birds we provide care for and also for any rescues we are called to.
We greatly appreciate all your support.