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World Owl Trust - leading the World in Owl Conservation
Monday 22nd December, 2014

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Sponsored Walk 2011

The Sponsored Walk is sponsored by Finger prints - click on the image to visit their website
Sponsored by Finger prints

I am about to tell you something which will be entering new territory for the World Owl Trust. This year has been very successful in raising funds and awareness, to such an extent that if we continue along the same lines we will have difficulty in matching this in the coming year. For details, please read the Fundraising Summary here.

This year is starting off with a high profile campaign concerning our indigenous White-breasted Barn Owl. The World Owl Trust was recently featured on several local BBC radio news reports, as well as BBC Radio 4 regarding barn owl nest sites, and was exposed to approximately 15 million listeners on that day. The report stated that although Barn Owl numbers may have rallied slightly in recent years, there is real concern that the wild population has to rely too heavily on manmade nest boxes. Surveys suggest that around 70% of Barn Owls in the UK rely on nest boxes to breed successfully. On the one hand you can argue that nest box schemes have thereby been proven to be very successful, but another alarming fact jumps out at you stating that, if this is true, then the hard work to save this iconic farm land owl has only just begun.

Nest boxes have a very finite life span, around 4 to 5 years, before needing replacement. Depending on the survey method, there are between 3 to 6000 breeding pairs of Barn Owls in the UK, which implies that up to 4200 nest boxes nationwide need maintaining. At around 50 pounds per nest box, the upper figure for the whole of the UK suggests an expenditure of around £210,000. Every 4 or 5 years.

It is with this in mind that we have thought of the following fund raising venture; a very high profile sponsored walk, not in the Lake District or even the UK, but in the Alicante Mountains of southern Spain, which all being well, is planned for the last week in March 2011. This is made possible by the fact that a director of MountainWALKS in Spain, Brian Fagg, who incidentally is a supporter of the World Owl Trust, has offered to accommodate our expedition at cost. Visit for further information.

This year’s walkers will be paying for their own flights and expenses, and doing the walk in their own time, by booking time away from the Centre, or in the case of volunteers, from their own work.

We will be publicising this in the usual way in the newsletter and website, and in addition will be seeking other media involvement to maximize exposure to a wider audience. This should in turn help to increase awareness of the plight of Barn Owls in the wild in the British Isles and be a further aid in achieving the means to erect 100 Barn Owl nest boxes nationwide.

This next walk will most definitely be the hardest yet. All the mountains, of which there are 5, are higher than anything in the British Isles , with the highest, ‘Pla de la Casa’ at 1379 metres. This is the equivalent of Scafell Pike with Yewbarrow stacked on top at nearly 5000 feet. The walk will be 15.5 miles in length over rough exposed terrain, the combined ascent of which will be 1570 metres, starting with a steady 500 metre climb following an old mule trail to the Moorish castle on the high point of the eastern Serrella ridge. Some of the peaks are known as ‘Malla del LLop’, ‘Pla de la Casa’, and ‘Serrella’, this last peak includes a ridge walk not unlike ‘Striding Edge’ and ‘Sharp Edge’. The route is linear, from the village ‘Castell de Castells to Quatretondeta the hard way’. Along the route we hope to see sightings of Griffon Vultures and Golden Eagles or even perhaps the endangered Bonelli’s Eagle. Seeing these birds will hopefully be good auspices towards our ultimate aim of erecting 100 nest boxes in the wild. For this, we are aiming to raise around £5000. As always, this would not be possible without your support.

Summit of Pla de la Casa, the highest summit on the walk at 1379 meters
Summit of Pla de la Casa, the highest summit on the walk at 1379 meters
The view from the 2nd peak Malla de Llop at 1350 meters, with the Med in the background
The view from the 2nd peak Malla de Llop at 1350 meters, with the Med in the background

Please click on the Donate button to go to my JustGiving sponsorship page

Wulf Ingham
Head Keeper

The Owl Centre
Muncaster Castle
Cumbria. CA18 1RQ
United Kingdom

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The World Owl Trust is a member of BIAZA
The World Owl Trust is a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA). The Trust relies on a dedicated membership, visitors, donations and legacies.
The World Owl Trust is a member of EAZA

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