I was dismayed to learn that barn and eagle owls were on display at a boot fair in Wild Park, Brighton, on Saturday.

The Sussex Downs Raptor Club appears to be just a travelling zoo. It is not in the owls' interest to be carted around the countryside and displayed, for whatever purpose.

Eagle owls are nocturnal and hunt for their food at night, they are solitary creatures but when they pair up it is often for life.

To put these creatures in a boot fair environment is totally unacceptable and shows no real respect or understanding of what constitutes a natural life for an owl.

It is yet another example of selfish behaviour on the part of humans to override any consideration for these majestic creatures that you would feel truly privileged to see in the wild.

All five species of British owls are in decline because of habitat loss.

Instead of imprisoning these beautiful creatures for anything up to 60 years, why not counteract the problems they face in the wild by:

  • Creating wildlife corridors and wild patches to restore the owls' hunting habitats.
  • Planting new hedgerows and restoring degraded ones - home to owls as well as countless other wildlife species.
  • Erecting and monitoring new owl nest sites throughout Sussex.
  • By doing these three things we will be helping restore local vanishing biodiversity thereby ensuring that endangered owls survive into the next millennium for future generations to enjoy.

In my opinion there is nothing more pathetic than seeing a bird in a cage. Isn't it better to catch an occasional glimpse of them in their natural habitat?

I am sure people living in Moulsecoomb would prefer to see owls living naturally in Wild Park, rather than seeing captive ones at a boot fair. I would be happy to help them with such a project.

  • Denise Friend, Hythe Road, Brighton