Fresh assaults target North Walsham’s messy pigeons

A multi-pronged attack on pigeons is being plotted as North Walsham makes a determined effort to rid its shopping streets of what has become the town's Public Enemy Number One.

Town councillors pledged on Tuesday not to give up the fight against the birds which roost at sites all over the town centre, creating splatter pools of droppings and nesting debris underfoot for pedestrians, and damaging buildings.

The town council is joining forces with traders and North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) to show pigeons the door using methods including a decoy pigeon loft, ultra-sonic equipment, spikes and netting.

The renewed call to arms was unanimously supported by town councillors who were left reeling at their October meeting after hearing that a seven-month NNDC trapping campaign had not resulted in one single pigeon being caught.

A meeting between the two councils and business owners was held last week to try and find a new way forward.

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Nick Lee, treasurer of North Walsham Chamber of Trade, who attended the meeting, said he felt NNDC was taking the matter seriously but did not have the cash or powers to tackle the problem alone.

NNDC environmental chiefs had advised that if a volunteer business offered a suitable location for a loft, it could be used to attract pigeons whose eggs could then be replaced with dummies.

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This measure, coupled with building proofing and a trial ultra-sonic deterrent, could keep numbers at bay although, with a tree-lined churchyard in the town centre, pigeons could never be completely eliminated, Mr Lee added.

John Lee, NNDC portfolio holder for environmental matters, said the district could bulk purchase spikes and netting, making it cheaper for businesses.

Town councillors voted on Tuesday to write to NNDC calling for all the measures agreed at the joint meeting to be implemented.

And they will be putting pigeons on their agenda every month for the foreseeable future so that they can keep an eagle eye on NNDC and make sure officers don't flag in their efforts to help North Walsham overcome the problem.

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