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Wednesday, 03 September 2014

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World Owl Trust has 'amazing' choices for possible new home

Two hundred owls from Cumbria could be flying off to a new home in Scotland or the south coast.

Tony Warburton photo
Tony Warburton

The World Owl Trust (WOT), based at Muncaster Castle, said it had received a huge response to its quest for a new home after being given notice by the castle’s owners that its contract would end next May.

President Tony Warburton said the choices were “amazing” and the sites would allow the trust to have their own entrance fee, which could generate more funds for conservation, education and research work.

“Since the notice to end the contract was made public, we have been amazed and gratified by the huge response we have received from private landowners, farmers, estates and other animal collections,” he said.

“So many organisations are offering the trust facilities where the WOT can locate its renowned World Owl Centre, where it will be welcomed and its global conservation work valued and supported.”

More than 200 owls are housed at the centre, representing about 50 species, some of them among the world’s rarest.

Mr Warburton said the trust, which has been based at the castle in Ravenglass for 26 years, had also been offered temporary sites while a new location was found.

“We cannot thank people enough for their goodwill and willingness to support the World Owl Trust and the work it does,” he added.

Peter Frost-Pennington of the Muncaster Estate said: “We asked the World Owl Trust to produce a business plan two years ago but this has not been forthcoming.

“We are planning to set out what we are looking for from the owl centre at Muncaster in future in the next month.

“This will leave well over a year for negotiations.

“Whatever the outcome, the World Owl Trust can remain at Muncaster until May 2015.

“If the trust were to leave Muncaster and were not able to find another place to go, or they cannot rehome their owls anywhere else, they will be very welcome to leave their owls here until they can do so.”

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