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We’re continuing to tackle pigeon issue, says councillor

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Halfway through a year-long project to combat the issue of pigeons and their mess in Diss, council leader Simon Olander has reiterated the need to rid the town centre of the birds.

In September, town businesses and the council joined forces to do something about the pigeon population, as shop owners said it was one of their top concerns and feared it was putting off shoppers and tourists.

Dealey Bird Control and Falconry was brought in to perform controlled flights with falcons down Mere Street and councillor Olander said numbers in the area are reducing.

Mark White, from Dealey Bird Control and Falconry, has been attempting to reducing the town’s pigeon population......PICTURE: Mecha Morton ... (31406101)
Mark White, from Dealey Bird Control and Falconry, has been attempting to reducing the town’s pigeon population......PICTURE: Mecha Morton ... (31406101)

He said: “There were approximately 164 pigeons at the start of the project; numbers have decreased to around 100 now.

“As well as relocating the pigeon population, the scheme also aimed to improve the cleanliness of the town centre.

“Reports suggest that this is being achieved and we are continuing to work with South Norfolk Council on street cleaning initiatives.”

The authority recently met with the bird control firm to discuss its progress and, though numbers are dropping, continued feeding at Mere’s Mouth is counteracting the work.

The council has put up signs discouraging people from feeding the pigeons.

Cllr Olander said: “We are working with Dealeys to install feed vending machines on the Mere side of Diss Park. The town council recommends appropriate feeding in the right places in the town.

“Feeding ducks at the park is a fun activity for all the family and, by providing a nutritionally balanced duck food that actively promotes bird health, you are doing good for the birds as well.

“Unfortunately, there are a few individuals who continue to empty large bags of seed and bread at Mere’s Mouth, encouraging pigeons and maintaining their population.”

The council feels that, if the amount of food available to the birds was limited, this could go a long way in discouraging pigeons from staying in the area.

At the council’s annual meeting on Thursday, the falcon initiative was brought up, with some feeling the fight against the pigeons had stalled.

But Cllr Olander said the council was committed to further reducing the population and is looking at other ideas to help.

He said: “The falcon flying initiative is part of a wider project, which includes educating people on appropriate food, quantities and feeding locations.

“The council will also continue to investigate additional measures for reducing the pigeon population, such as a dovecote (bird house) system, liaising with local building owners regarding bird proofing, working with Dealeys to install bird feed vending machines in the park, working with Diss youth councillors on a school education campaign and continuing with the district council on improving the town centre cleanliness.

“The town council has already installed netting at the pavilion on the park, which it owns and maintains, and is reviewing bird proofing measures at The Corn Hall.”

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