London boroughs spend the most to rid their streets of pigeons and gulls of anywhere in the country, it has been revealed.

Council spending on bird control across England has almost doubled over the last three years, new research shows.

The Borough of Southwark spent by far the most on bird control compared to other English councils, forking out £393,000 since 2013.

The next biggest spender was the Borough of Hackney which spent £162,000.

The third was the Greater London Authority which spent £137,000 on pigeon-proofing.

Analysis of data provided by the two thirds of English councils which responded to the BBC’s Freedom of Information (FOI) request, found that overall spending rose from £452,000 in 2013-14 to £830,000 in 2015-16.

Most councils said they used spikes on buildings to deter pigeons and gulls from landing, others said they used hawks or trained marksman to control bird numbers.

The British Pest Control Association told the BBC they thought the increase in spending might be due to the greater understanding of the diseases carried by the birds.

Experts warn that while pigeon-proofing may be the most humane way to control bird populations it may just move the problem elsewhere, as they simply move to an adjacent building or street.

But the Royal Society of the Protection of Birds said it “would always advocate non-lethal measures in the first instance.”


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