Client: Gloucestershire’s Barn Owl CentreLocation: Gloucestershire, UKFabrication
You may remember that we have previously reported how Gloucestershire’s Barn Owl Centre has found that our Stokbord recycled plastic sheet product is the perfect alternative to more traditional materials in the manufacture of barn owl nesting boxes.
We thought now would be a good time to catch up with the animal charity to assess the effectiveness of our recycled plastic materials in this sector and determine whether there are other applications where our materials could be used to aid the efforts of other animal sanctuaries across the UK and beyond.
A little recap
Firstly, let us reintroduce The Barn Owl Centre to you.
This animal sanctuary in Gloucestershire is committed to animal conservation and preservation efforts, but is also keen to promote an environmental message with their centre being based within a nature reserve where they endeavour to protect all the land for the benefit of the local wildlife.
Alongside this, the charity also builds barn owl nesting boxes which take into account 20 years of experience working with these wonderful animals to ensure the ideal habitat for their needs. These are then sold onto customers across the UK to help fund the work of the charity.
Previously using traditional materials such as plywood and timber, the barn own centre looked for more environmentally conscious alternatives to develop eco-friendly barn owl nest box designs. Following their intense research, the animal sanctuary concluded that our Stokbord recycled plastic sheets would fulfil their requirements and allow them to create a more environmentally friendly barn own nesting box design which would also be:
Easier to fabricate than with traditional materials;
Lighter than current designs;
Fully recyclable at the end of its useful life;
Waterproof & more durable providing added protection from the elements
Offer improved hygiene on account of being easier to clean;
Blend into the surrounding environment;
Completely non-toxic to wildlife;
Could be manufactured at a price which would enable widespread distribution.
We then arranged to supply the charity with their chosen Centriforce product and felt that now would be the perfect time to catch up and find out whether or not this new range of eco barn owl nesting boxes had been the success which had been anticipated.
We are delighted to report that our Stokbord recycled plastic sheets had not only helped the charity achieve all of the original sought after benefits, but had also brought with it additional improvements over the original barn own nest box designs which had not originally been predicted.
Perhaps the biggest additional benefit came as a result of the embossed texture of Stokbord. Traditional materials had tended to be smooth, which often resulted in condensation being collected. Combined with the fact that these constructions were often not waterproof, it could result in water building up inside and young wildlife dying in the nests as a result.
Our Stokbord sheets put a stop to this by offering better protection from the elements and reduced condensation on account of the grooves in the surface. This essential addressed one of the major weaknesses faced by earlier designs.
In fact, it was this unexpected benefit which led to the charity producing a range of waterproof hedge housing. These constructs are traditionally placed on land, which naturally means that they often suffer water damage. Our Stokbord recycled plastic sheets prevented this issue from occurring, with their added strength over wooden alternatives also making them better equipped to deal with any bumps and nudges from wildlife.
Combined with the fact that both of these animal nesting box designs were fabricated from recycled plastic materials, this only made the products more appealing to the potential customers who are largely made up of other charities and wildlife conservations. The success of these new models in action has challenged hesitation within the market based on models without the benefits gained from Stokbord sheet.
You can read more about the success that The Barn Owl Centre has had with their improved barn owl nest box designs and new range of eco hedgehog housing over on their website.