The Barn Owl says Thank You to MLC Participants

The Declining Irish Barn Owl

Nesting Box placed at Donoughmore NS in Glen of Imaal.

In 2023, the Glen Team announced a new project in connection with the Moonlight Challenge and the MLC participants. We promised to supply and install Barn Owl Nest boxes in the Wicklow area to aid with the decline of the Irish Barn Owl.

The first batch of Owl Nesting Boxes ready to go..


The rasping shriek of the barn owl (Scréachóg Reilige)  has become increasingly scarce in Ireland, largely due to lack of nesting sites and road kill.

We are working with local landowners in Wicklow who can help provide practical protection for nesting sites by installing nest boxes in suitable locations (on their lands, in old buildings or barns) for the declining Irish Barn Owl. This will help to improve the Barn Owl’s breeding habitat’s and breeding chances.

Our sponsor, David Ward Contractors kindly donated some Barn Owl boxes to the Glen team that he handmade himself. The team bought more Barn Owl boxes from Barry Nolan, Wildlife Management Services. The Glen of Imaal Team have now started putting up these Owl nesting boxes to fulfil their commitment to the MLC participants. Working alongside the Wicklow Barn Owl Project who have already got a number of boxes out their already.

All these groups are helping to increase the population of these beautiful species in Wicklow. To keep up to date on these projects and also to help out by reporting sightings contact: the Wicklow Barn Owl Project

Nesting Box placed on the farm of Ernest Mackey (Founding member of the Glen of Imaal Mountain Rescue Team) Team Members: Johnny OToole, Brendan Beirne, Diarmaid Scully. Farm Owner: Ernest Mackey

Tallis Dixon (Glen Team member) helping to install bird boxes

Barry Hamiliton and Sean Tolan (Glen Team members) helping to install bird boxes


Farmers Friend

It is estimated that a Barn Owl can take 2000 prey items, mainly rodents in a breeding season. Therefore, the positive impact that the presence of Barn Owls has on individual farming practices should not be underestimated.  It is no surprise then that the Barn Owl is known as the ‘Farmers Friend’.  We hope to receive many anecdotal reports of sightings of Barn Owls, past and present from landowners and members of the public.

Part of our cultural heritage and folklore

The Barn Owl is intrinsically linked with our cultural heritage and folklore. The Irish name ‘Scréachóg reilge’ refers to its screeching sound at nightime, a sound which is thought to have given rise to ‘the Banshee’.  Reilge (graveyard)  is a reference to the bird’s habit of nesting in old churches and other ruined buildings.

Read more at wicklow



Tree Planting in the Glendasan Valley

In 2021 & 2022, the Glen Team promised to plant a native Irish tree 🌳 💚 for every participant who took part in the Moonlight Challenge. Under the management of the Conservation Rangers in the Wicklow Mountain National Park and with the help of ReWild Wicklow and our sponsors: CoillteWood Industries Rathdrum & David Ward Groundworks, the Glen Team planted over 1300 native Irish Trees in the Glendasan valley, between Turlough Hill and the old lead mines. Included are tree’s such as Rowan / Mountain Ash, Birch, Alder and Willow. These tree’s will have a significant input in helping to boost the native woodlands where they are planted