Leicester

Domesday Reloaded prompts fond memories of Cossington

In 1986, 11-year-old Kate Porter wrote about her school friends feeding four hand-reared barn owls on her parents' Leicestershire farm, before they were released into the wild.

Now a 36-year-old married mother of three young children, Kate Whyman has been prompted to look back on that time by the BBC Domesday Project.

Kate was one of 1,000,000 contributors from across the UK who helped record a snapshot of their everyday life, for future generations to explore.

Twenty-five years on, the data has been collected onto an online archive, called Domesday Reloaded, which can be viewed and updated with new information.

'Moving experience'

A local naturalist had introduced the children of Cossington C of E Primary School to the owls - the offspring of two injured adults he had nursed back to health.

The school helped to build cages to house the owls, where they could be cared for, before being released into the wild.

Mrs Whyman's Domesday entry records how her school friends would visit the disused grain store each evening to feed the owls with dead chicks.

"Not particularly pleasant", Kate remembers, "But I think coming from the farm it wasn't out of the ordinary for us".

She has fond memories of her childhood at Barn Lodge Farm, where she lived for about 12 years, and said it had been a "moving experience" to revisit her 11-year-old self.

"It's absolutely fantastic and I wouldn't have changed it for the world. I just so wish that this is what I could give my children", Mrs Whyman said.

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