Owls

The abundance of small mammal prey amongst the tall vegetation, and large areas of undisturbed hunting grounds, support a healthy population of barn owls. In 2016 we counted 18 chicks in barn owl boxes on the estate.  Little Owls are proliferating thanks to our organic soils, now rich in earthworms and other invertebrates, and the fact that we treat none of our livestock with avermectins. Animal dung is swiftly colonised by dung beetles – a favourite food of the Little Owl. One ecologist counted 23 species of dung beetle in a single cow pat. In 2015 we saw our first long-eared owls on Knepp, a secretive owl that will no doubt be making the most of the growing-out shaws and the abundance of small birds and mammals here.