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Twit twoo lives in a house like this! Dales Young Ranger Max and the gang with the owl boxes they helped make Copyright YDNPA

Young Rangers have a hoot building barn owl boxes

Monday 26 October, 2020, by Max

Hello, my name is Max and I am 11 years old. I have recently joined the Dales Young Rangers and have now been to three events.

I particularly like building things so last weekend’s activity I really enjoyed. We were making owl boxes for a local farmer. A Land Management Adviser from the National Park Authority started off by talking about owls and why we were doing it for the farmers. We also went through all the different kinds of owls, some I had not seen or heard of before.

I learned many facts about barn owls – for example, if they come out during the day it is only really to find food so that they will have a surplus to eat during bad winter weather.  We also learnt that nowadays most barn owls nest in boxes as their natural nest sites have declined.

Next came the fun part which was assembling the owl boxes. The design came from the Barn Owl Trust. Anyone can make one using their plans on  

For us, the pieces had already been cut to size out of sustainable plywood and softwood to hold it all together. These didn’t need to be waterproof because they will all be put inside buildings.

To start off we marked out on the plywood where we wanted to drill holes. One of the volunteers then went to drill them and came back with holes in the plywood.

Next we placed everything on the floor and started to put each piece together using a screwdriver. It was quite hard work so after a while we stopped working for a minute and one of the volunteers gave us all a chocolate biscuit. Then it was back to work.

When it was nearly done we all added our names on the top so the owls could see. I hope that our box will have some new owners soon and that they will be really happy and warm in it.

I had a great day out and hope to go out again soon. Thank you.

Want to find out more?

If you would like to come along to any of the meetings, please get in touch with Catherine Kemp, Education & Events Manager, on or 01756 75164. You can follow the Dales Young Rangers on Facebook

The North and West Young Rangers groups are funded by BIG Lottery Fund through the Green Futures partnership programme led by Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust. Green Futures aims to empower and support young people in the Yorkshire Dales and the surrounding area to become more involved, aware and connected to the fantastic natural environment that’s right on their doorstep.

Green Futures is part of Our Bright Future, a £33 million programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund and run by a consortium of eight organisations which is led by The Wildlife Trusts. Our Bright Future aims to tackle three big challenges facing society today – a lack of social cohesion, a lack of opportunities for young people and vulnerability to climate change.

The Young Rangers group based in the South of the National Park is being part-funded through Stories in Stone, an ambitious four-year programme of conservation and community projects concentrated on the Ingleborough area developed by the Ingleborough Dales Landscape Partnership. The scheme is led by Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Picture of Max


Max is 11 years old and is fairly new to the Young Rangers, only starting in the Summer. He is passionate about drama and most sports, in particular karate, cricket and rugby. Max loves also to be outside and is most at home in the Yorkshire Dales.

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