Falcons should be brought in to tackle Southport’s pigeon fouling problem, a local councillor has said.
Cllr David Barton said the long-term issue was affecting vital areas of the town, such as Lord Street, and was causing major problems for residents,businesses and tourists.
Cllr Barton, who represents Dukes Ward, said: “A recent initiative agreed by Sefton Council to install six plastic hawks across town to deter pigeons was nowhere near enough to resolve the issue.”
He said that he first raised the issue of pigeon fouling in 2014 and claims a falcon handler was employed during The Open golf championship.
He added: “I am seeking the local community’s views with a view to addressing the issue of pigeon fouling along Lord Street and other areas.
“Lord Street is a prime target for pigeons which tend to roost and nest in tall buildings and can do untold levels of damage to the historic fabric of these properties.
“There are many methods of pigeon control including bird proofing, wire deterrent systems, netting, bird spikes and a large variety of electrical and sonic bird deterrent solutions.
“Given Lord Street’s status as a conservation area not all these prescribed measures are appropriate from a conservationist’s perspective so I am advocating for a more subtle yet effective approach consisting of a falcon handler to be deployed to address this issue.
“Besides preventing regularly tarnished pavements this will also reduce the incidences of trips and falls caused by pigeons that have been reported all year round.”
The councillor claims pigeon droppings are not only unsightly, but their acid content can lead to the deterioration of soft stone and cause long-term damage to buildings and nest droppings and feathers block gutters and rainwater pipes.
The birds are capable of lifting loose roof coverings, tiles and battens to gain entry into roof voids which can significantly damage the structure by allowing water penetration.
He also suggests that reducing the amount of pigeons in the town will boost the retail sector.
Cllr Barton added: “Action to curb the effects of pigeons may also encourage more investment into the retail sector across the high street, especially along the central cross-section which coincidentally has consecutive units that have been vacant since 2013.
“Whilst measures such as plastic hawks may provide some interim management for the situation, this will ultimately cease to work and indeed may actually only last for a far shorter length of time than planned.
“It is important that we take the best action possible which has been tried and tested and would give incumbent retailers and new interested big names a reason why they should choose our classic resort town.”
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