NEST boxes are being put up in South Somerset in an effort to increase the number of breeding barn owls.

The Somerset Community Barn Owl Project is installing 60 nest boxes across the county, including in Crewkerne, Cricket St Thomas, Ilminster, Isle Abbotts, Seavington St Michael and Shepton Beauchamp.

The owls have become online stars thanks to a webcam at a nest box in east Somerset.

Tens of thousands of people from as far afield as Honduras, Japan, Fiji, Russia and Brazil have logged on to watch the owls nesting.

Somerset Wildlife Trust’s (SWT) and The Hawk and Owl Trust’s barn owl project is funded by Viridor Credits Environmental Company, SWT spokesman Beth Jerrett said: “Barn owls survive and thrive in areas of rough grassland that can sustain good numbers of field voles and other small mammals for them to feed on.

“We’re asking people to support their recovery by giving to our Love Somerset, Love Meadows appeal to increase the amount of grassland and meadow habitat in the county.”

For more information on the Love Somerset, Love Meadows project and to see the nesting barn owls visit