The owner of a Spalding-based home improvement business is now offering his services to owls, as well as people, by making homes for them.
Martin Swales (46) is taking his tiling, carpentry and landscape garden firm in a new direction after deciding to make boxes for barn, tawny and little owls in the hope of boosting numbers around South Holland.
Each box takes between two and five hours to make, depending on the type of owl concerned, and Martin plans to donate some of the proceeds to Baytree Owl and Wildlife Centre, Weston, where the boxes are on sale.
He said: “I’ve always had a keen interest in owls but because of a rise in barn conversions, changes in farming methods and woodland starting to disappear, the owl population in the Fens has declined quite a lot.
“They’ve lost much of their natural habitat but I’m hoping to bring owl numbers back up by making homes for them and selling the boxes to the public.
“It would be nice to see people putting the boxes in the gardens, ideally next to open fields, so that owls are given more of an opportunity to fly around and hunt for food in the countryside.”
Martin, who has been self-employed for about eight years, is being backed by several Spalding businesses such as timber merchants Andrew and Co, Sign Design Services Ltd timber merchants and Chris Wright Builders.
He said: “I hope people will start buying the owl boxes so that more owls can start coming back into the area.”