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Hawks could be used in a bid to rid Diss town centre of pigeon mess

Diss Town Councillors are to discuss the idea flying hawks onto town centre buildings in a bid to rid the town of pigeon mess.

Harris' Hawks were used in London
Harris' Hawks were used in London

At the council's infrastructure committee on Wednesday, councillors will discuss a proposal, which they have shared with the traders' trust, to fly hawks onto affected buildings to discourage pigeons from roosting.

The technique has also been used in Trafalgar Square in London.

The council brief states: "Given the recent death of a child in Scotland and the dangers associated with breathing in the dust particularly from dried pigeon droppings, it is recommended that members consider what the council can do to reduce the problem.

"The mess left by pigeons is a significant issue in Diss particularly along Mere Street, at the

Mere’s Mouth, on the boardwalk and at the Corn Hall.

"The council was approached some time ago about a potential solution, which involves flying

hawks onto affected buildings to discourage the pigeons from roosting in the town.

"This proposal was forwarded to the Traders Trust for initial comment given the need for

support for any proposed measure going forward.


"This week we received a plea from a member of the public requesting that the town council acts and a request from the Corn Hall for some help in providing a deterrent to prevent pigeons from

roosting on their building. The netting installed is proving ineffective.

"It is understood that many buildings in the town already have spikes to try to discourage birds

from sitting on them but without additional netting, the birds sit behind the spikes."

The council are hoping to enlist the support of businesses for any scheme used.

Recommendation to be discussed, include:

1. It is recommended that research is undertaken to determine appropriate types of netting which

could be installed to reduce bird droppings and does not detract from the historic appearance of

buildings albeit netting is probably more aesthetically pleasing than bird droppings and the

latter is known to cause damage to the stone due to its acidity.

2. It is also recommended that a meeting is held with the bird control company to find out further

details. The Council would need to consider this measure in light of the Countryside and Wildlife

Act, which protects wood pigeons.

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