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Wise decision at hospice development ensures owls are undisturbed

Wildlife experts brought to Hospice of the Good Shepherd development to make sure owls stay safe

Barn Owl (Image: Ian Cooper )

A family of barn owls are sleeping happily through a major development at a Chester hospice after a builder took special measures to ensure their nest remained undisturbed.

Anwyl Construction had started work on a £2.2 million extension to the Hospice of the Good Shepherd, at Backford, near Chester, when the owls were discovered.

The construction company has since been working with Cheshire West and Chester Council and wildlife experts to ensure the owls have been left in peace.

Anwyl construction site manager Steve Langford explained: “We discovered the nesting box near the site was occupied so we have had it cordoned off and made sure it is secure.

“Now we’re happy to report that the pair of barn owls there have hatched three chicks and all seem to be doing well.

“We have put up warning signs to keep people away from the nest and restricted access to that area of the site and we’ve even used low-noise whisper generators to help them get a good day’s sleep.”

Chief executive of the Hospice Steve Hoy with Steve Langford and Simon Rose from Anwyls(Image: Eye Imagery )

The project to extend the hospice is well advanced and will double the size of the existing building to increase the service the charity provides there.

The hospice has already raised over £1.7 million towards the total cost of the new extension and are now calling on ‘good shepherds’ to help them raise the remaining £460,000 and help them build for the next 25 years.

One of the ways people are being asked to support the appeal is to buy a brick and appear on the Hospice dedicated web page, they can be purchased on line at www.hospicegs.com or by calling 01244 851811.

Further fund-raising includes a golf day at Eaton Golf Club including a three course dinner on June 30.

Related story: Hospice of the Good Shepherd launches new appeal with parade through Chester

The hospice was opened in 1989 by Diana, Princess of Wales, and annually currently provides care for over 1,500 adults from West Cheshire, Chester and Deeside with terminal illnesses.

The new building, which has a ground source heating system, will house therapy rooms, four ensuite single rooms, rooms for clinical treatment, counselling, creative and occupational therapies and physiotherapy, consulting and training as well as a new café and shop and a garden and patio with raised beds to help patients enjoy gardening.

Chief executive of the Hospice Steve Hoy with Steve Langford and Simon Rose from Anwyls(Image: Eye Imagery )

Chief executive of the hospice Steve Hoy said: “It will double the size of the old vicarage building that will enable us to provide improved access and facilities to manage the complexity of illness many of our patients have. It will also increase our capacity to provide Day Therapy services.

“It will provide three new therapy rooms for the treatments we provide, including acupuncture, and enable us to work with students from Chester University and other colleges to provide creative therapies alongside our staff and volunteers.

“It’s all about providing better quality care for our patients and a better working environment for our staff.

“As people live longer they have more complex needs and we’re there to provide compassion, care and kindness when people need it most.

“The work is progressing very well and we’re very pleased with the progress Anwyl have made and we’re looking forward to it opening on time.”

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