Extra help has been brought in to bolster Carlisle United’s defence – against troublesome mess-making birds.

While Keith Curle battles to bring in new faces for his match day squad, the club has swooped to get a new member of the backroom team – a hawk named Buzz.

The new addition has been brought in to solve a big problem the club has with menace birds causing mess at Brunton Park.

Seagulls, pigeons, sparrows and other feathered friends have been roosting in the stadium and leaving behind an unpleasant mess with grounds staff and cleaning contractors spending countless hours each week removing it.

In the search for a more permanent cost-effective solution Matt Bond, from Carlisle-based CITO Cleaning Ltd, who are the club’s cleaning contractors, put forward the idea after his bird-watcher son suggested it.

“Everybody in the city knows there’s a bird problem here,” he told the News & Star.

 “At the football club it’s been there for about three seasons, especially in the first few months of the season. Birds nesting is a massive problem. This year there seems to be a lot more.”

With the plans approved by the club Gary Swainson, from the Cumberland Bird of Prey Centre, was brought on board and Buzz started circling the ground last week.

“It’s one of those jobs that can be very successful or the species targeted can be very resilient to it,” he said.

“It has to be an ongoing process. If you scare them once they will go away but they will come back again.

“We’ve been out at the ground most evenings for the last week. The idea is that pest species don’t get a regular time, they just know that the area is patrolled by a predator.

“They then know it becomes an unsafe place to be.

“The idea is that by flying the hawk they will go and roost somewhere else because they feel uncomfortable.”

Mr Swainson says that birds will naturally try and return to places where the conditions are good for roosting, as Brunton Park appears to be.

Mr Bond added: “It’s been very effective so far but it’s not a 100 per cent guarantee.”

While the problem is affecting all sides of the ground the problem is most apparent in the east and west stands.

The scheme at Brunton Park has sparked interest from other areas of the city where there have been high-profile bird problems.

“People have been saying to us why hasn’t this been done before,” Mr Bond added.


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