Since 2020, NextEnergy annually enhances 15 of its UK solar farms with additional biodiversity measures under a Universal Biodiversity Management Plan (UBMP). These measures include wildflower meadows, bug hotels, bird and bat boxes, hibernacula and nectar-rich shrub planting and have been selected to provide maximum biodiversity uplift across a wide range of taxa at scale. As part of this UBMP initiative, NextEnergy installed several additional nesting boxes and bat boxes at Bottom Plain Solar farm, in Dorset, to provide secure nesting and refuge to local species. During an ecological walkover survey in May 2022, owl pellets found near one of the boxes indicated that owls had moved in. Once breeding season had finished, NextEnergy worked closely with WiseEnergy and Wildlife Windows to fit X2 of the owl nest boxes with HD cameras, powered via solar panels and streaming their imagery via 4G broadband connections in time for their return. This allows full 24/7 access into the barn owls’ usually elusive behaviour all throughout the nesting season!

The East nest box currently houses two of barn owls in the process of breeding (they bred in this same box last year). There was an initial battle with jackdaws, but the barn owls appear to have won this box and the jackdaws are now occupying the West box.

Both nest box cameras are streaming to YouTube Live via Wildlife Windows’ YouTube channel, you can find the links to both below:

As the season unfolds, we hope to see the barn owls (and jackdaws) raise young and fledge successfully. As is with wildlife, anything can happen, so we wish them the best!

Please note this is a live and unedited stream of a barn owl webcam located in rural Dorset. Occasionally you might see disturbing images of the natural world. Our policy is to allow nature to play out without disruption or interference. Barn owls are specially protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.