SADOS (Southam and District Owl Society) was formed in 2015 by founder Rich Harris and fellow supporter Paul Watkins. Both live in the village of Southam (just north of Cheltenham) and they came together as they both shared a love of raptors and especially Owls.
Rich brought a lot of experience as he hails from the Somerset area and had been instrumental there in taking Barn Owls from as few as one breeding pair in 1995 to a total of 21 breeding pairs fifteen years (and 160 boxes) later!
He gained a lot of experience and knowledge during this period and he has now taken on North Gloucestershire as his next challenge.
Fellow enthusiast, Paul Watkins, comes from a different background but can boast over 40 years of birding experience throughout Europe and beyond plus a fascination with bird and wildlife photography. His business background has helped in providing data collection and spreadsheets for the group.
The group now boasts a further six volunteers who have also bought additional skills to the party, especially in the box building/construction and installation part of the group’s activities.
During the past 2/3 years they have been instrumental in putting up and monitoring over 100 Tawny Owl boxes, over 80 Barn Owl boxes, over 30 Little Owl boxes and more recently over 25 Kestrel boxes. They have seen some incredible results in such a very short time with all four species and have seen new boxes taken up and increased breeding success way beyond original estimates.
They have worked successfully with the GRMG (Glos Raptors Monitoring Group) and GWT(Glos Wildlife Trust) and have also had the kind and generous support from GNS (Glos Naturalists Society) who have helped with several grants for materials.They have also worked closely with the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) as well as The County Recorder.
Without a doubt, they would not have been able to operate so effectively without some amazing help from other sponsors including a local pallet company who have kindly donated materials for box building and of course it would be imprudent not to mention their amazing band of volunteers.
If you think you might be interested to help or have information of barn owl(or any owl!!) activity in your area please contact Rich or Paul on the following e-mail contacts addresses. Similarly, if you know of any landowners or farmers who need help/advice re Barn Owl (or other raptors) activity or breeding please contact:-
Rich Harris : firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Watkins : email@example.com