What A Hoot!

All of our Top Meadow Farm team are committed to the conservation of wildlife, the countryside and our natural environment. That is why our farms are organic and we try to source the produce for our shop at 9 Butchers Row, Barnstaple only from local, family farms which respect the environment, and are either organic or minimise the use of chemicals.

One of the huge benefits in farming organically is the increase in the bird population on our farms and the increasing number of species we see feeding, nesting and thriving.

The barn owl, in particular, is a magnicent sight as it glides silently, white and almost ghost-like, across our fields at dusk, searching for the small rodents that it feeds on. The Barn Owl Trust estimates that there could be as few as 4,000 breeding pairs of barn owls in the United Kingdom, so we are privileged to share our farms with them.

Farm manager, Rob, had spotted a barn owl perching in one of our old Dutch barns on the farm at Nethercott so he decided to try to photograph it the next morning at dawn.

Imagine his surprise when he went to the barn in question to take a picture of the barn owl he had seen…and saw that it’s place had been taken by a tawny owl! (as you can see in the picture.)

So it’s good news that we have both barn owls and tawny owls on our farms and, what’s more we intend to encourage their presence by continuing to provide a safe environment for them to live and breed, as well as locating additional barn owl boxes around the farm.