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Falconry service on standby with Diss traders' support

Diss has moved one step closer to ridding itself of the mass population of pigeons which occupy the town centre.

The company proposing to fly a falcon around the area of Mere Street has announced that around 26 businesses have signed up to financially support the scheme, saying that if a few more confirm their support, the service could start as early as August 12.

The service is being provided by Diss man Mark Wright, of Dealey Bird Control and Falconry, and is being offered at a discounted rate of £1.75 a week.

Around 26 businesses have signed up to financially support the scheme. Picture by Chris Morris.
Around 26 businesses have signed up to financially support the scheme. Picture by Chris Morris.

Diss Town Council, South Norfolk Council and Norfolk County Council have all granted permission to fly the birds.

It would be the task of gyrfalcon Fay to frighten off the pigeons without hunting or injuring them.

The two-year-old has previously been successfully used at a secret East Anglian airbase for one-and-a-half years.

If the scheme is to be successful, Mr Wright stressed that it is crucial that people stop overfeeding the birds at Mere’s mouth.

“Lots of towns and cities like Diss supply an unnatural level of food which allows feral pigeons to breed up to six times a year, even through the winter,” said Mr Wright, who has seen the pigeon population in Diss go from around 150 to 450 in the past five years.

“We’ve got to deal with that while also trying to make them change their roosting areas.”

Mr Wright explained that, by getting feeding under control, pigeons would start breeding within their natural cycle again, which would decrease the overall population.

He added: “If you still want to feed the ducks and geese, that’s fine, but feed a small amount so there isn’t a lot of waste.”

Dealey Bird Control and Falconry is currently working with the town council to identify more suitable feeding spots on the other side of the Mere.

Some of the 26 businesses that have signed up include Frames Conservatories Direct, Beactive, Tatters, Poundland, Musker McIntyre, Contract Personnel, Scrivens and Diss Publishing.

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