BARN owl babies started to crack open their shells and emerge into the outside world for the first time this week.

Essex Wildlife Trust has webcams set up to view the natural world of barn owls, swallows, bats and badgers.

The barn owls live at the Blue House Farm nature reserve in North Fambridge.

Barn owls commonly lay about four to seven eggs, however the female barn owl on the Wildlife Trust webcam laid nine.

In the last few days the eggs have begun hatching and three owls have been welcomed into the world so far.

Lauren Cosson, of Essex Wildlife Trust, said: “It has been an exciting week with lots of action on our webcams.

“Of the nine eggs we have been eagerly watching, three owlets have now hatched.

“It is a wonderful experience to be so close to the action, without disturbing them.

“You can see the mother owl, affectionately named ‘Barnadette’ by our social media followers, busy feeding and preening her little ones.

“We will wait to see if we have any more additions to the nest this weekend!”

The webcams can be accessed on the Essex Wildlife Trust website.