Free Dorset farm workshop will help children investigate barn owls

A WORKSHOP teaching children how to find out more about barn owls from their pellets will take place this month.

A free owl pellet discovery event is set to run at Bere Marsh Farm, Shillingstone, from 10am to 12.30pm on Saturday, April 27.

Visitors will learn how owl pellets can be used to find out just what the barn owls living on site have been eating.

Bere Marsh Farm, a Countryside Regeneration Trust (CRT) property, will host the drop-in event at the Threshing Barn.

CRT community engagement manager, Nick Dobbs, will share interesting facts about UK owl species and give each child a barn owl pellet.

Then, CRT volunteers Karen Holliday and Alison Chopping will show everyone how to prepare and dissect an owl pellet.

And using the facts sheet provided and to keep, it is over to the children to turn detective and find out what the owls had for dinner.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to find out all about owls, and the pair of barn owls we are lucky to have nesting in our Victorian barn, affectionately known as Barn Owl Barn or BOB,” said Nick.

“Some bones can look rather similar, and we find children often like confirmed exactly what they’ve found, so our owl expert advisor Susan Double will also be on hand to double check the findings.”

Throughout the event, The Buzz Café will be open to buy drinks and delicious home-cooked treats.

Children can also borrow one of the ‘Wildlife Explorer’ bags from the Threshing Barn, which contain a magnifying glass and pots to go and explore the bug life along the Trailway at Bere Marsh Farm.

The event is free and people can turn up on the day, although booking online in advance is recommended to guarantee a place.

Donations are welcome online or on the day to help support the conservation work of the CRT.

The workshop is suitable for children aged seven and older, and all children must be accompanied by an adult parent or guardian.

To sign up, and for more information, log on to

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I am the editor in chief of Blackmore Vale media, which includes the New Blackmore Vale, New Stour & Avon, Salisbury & Avon Gazette and the Purbeck Gazette, having been a reporter for some 20 years. In my spare time, I am a festival lover, with a particular focus on Glastonbury. I live in Somerset with my wife and two children.