LIVE nest-cam footage of barn owls is being streamed to viewers, as part of a new wildlife conservation initiative.

Some 64 new barn owl boxes are being installed on farms across Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire.

The live footage is taken from a farm in Dorset, allowing viewers to take a peek inside and see a pair of owls in their natural habitat.

Fordingbridge-based Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) is the organisation behind the scheme.

GWCT says that in 'true reality TV style' there has 'already been drama aplenty'.

The trust said: 'The pair have begun their courtship, settled into their home, and got on with the business of mating.

"The camera has even captured the female laying an egg.

"The nest cam is now streaming 24 hours a day, ‘barn wifi’ permitting, and viewers should soon be able to see fluffy owlets hatching from the clutch of four eggs laid so far by the female.'

A grant from the Green Recovery Challenge Fund is allowing GWCT scientists to work with 100 farms over 40,000 hectares, to inspire farmers and communities to help conserve barn owls.

Adult barn owls will also be GPS-tracked to better understand their use of arable habitats for foraging and to enable farmers to see the effects of their conservation efforts.

GWCT says the data gathered will allow their scientists to develop guidance on managing land to benefit barn owls and other species.

Dr Niamh McHugh, project leader at the GWCT, said: "Although barn owl populations in the UK have stabilised after declining in the twentieth century, as a top predator, the barn owl provides an indication of ecosystem health, and conservation measures for owls also benefit wider farmland biodiversity.

"It is fantastic to be able to watch this pair of owls going about their lives and preparing to rear chicks.

"We hope that seeing these wonderful, often elusive, birds up close will inspire people to recognise the essential work that many farmers do for wildlife and encourage farmers to continue to make further positive changes.”

The scientists and farmers are working with local conservationists and bird-ringers, building relationships between volunteer groups and farmers.

A range of resources for schools and community groups will also be available and by live-streaming a barn-owl brood the project also aims to engage people further afield.

Visit for further details.

To watch the owls in action visit: