Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 7°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Bucklesham: Damage to spire caused by woodpeckers

15:37 20 July 2011

Tim Voelcker points out the damage.

Tim Voelcker points out the damage.


They are the driller killers which are wreaking havoc on a church’s tower.


The birds causing the damage, believed to be green woodpeckers, have pecked more than 40 holes in the wood shingles on the tower at St Mary’s – causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Jackdaws have also nested in the tower and 17 rubbish sacks of bird nesting debris was removed as a result. When the tower was checked over, it was discovered there was also rot in the timber.

It is thought the cost to repair the tower and replace the wood shingles will be around £20,000 – and now the church is launching a fundraising drive to get the money to fix the tower.

Canon Geoffrey Grant said: “Builders had to go up and check the damage. This revealed rot in the main framework and some movement in one of the posts. We are now waiting on reports from a structural engineer on the damage and how best to repair it.”

The church kicked off their major fundraising appeal at the Bucklesham flower festival, which raised just over £1,100.

The cost of the initial work is expected to be around £7,000 and replacing the shingles and rotten timber will amount to a further £12,000.

In 1999, green woodpeckers caused more than £30,000 at St Mary’s Church in Great Henny, Essex, after male woodpeckers used the spire as a sounding board to attract mates.

David Wardle, the church warden at Bucklesham, believes the birds have been causing problems in the church tower for around ten years and now has plans to stop them.

He said: “They have caused a lot of damage. In total it will cost around £20,000 to fix and hopefully we can put a mesh sheet near the top of the tower as well to stop the birds getting in so we won’t have to do this again.”

It is hoped that the church will be eligible for grants to repair the rotten timber and the shingles. Church leaders are currently in the process of organising more fundraising events which will help them reach their total.

Do you know of other birds causing mischief? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail



Annual Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre

The annual Christmas Fayre will see around 120,000 people descend on Bury St Edmunds over four days.

Company director spared jail

A Suffolk company director who crushed a worker to death was spared jail by a judge at Norwich Crown Court today.

Colchester Magistrates' Court

A “stellar” village GP who crashed into a zebra crossing while under the influence of alcohol has been banned from the road.

Nick Alston, Essex Police & Crime Commissioner, is proposing a £5 rise in council tax.

Residents in Essex face a £5 rise in their council tax in a bid to raise an extra £1.2million for community policing in the county.

The Buttermarket Centre will become a £35m pleasure palace

Excitement is building as Ipswich prepares to welcome a string of big-name restaurants as part of the Buttermarket makeover.

There has been a crash on the A12 near Witham

Three vehicles are reported to have crashed on the A12 this evening.

How well do you know your cars?

Test your knowledge in our car photo quiz and see if you can identify which car is which from just one small feature.

Colchester railway station

Two trains serving Colchester Town have been cancelled because of a security issue in London.

Team members from Colchester care home provider Care UK will be swapping their office wear for Santa suits as they enter teams for East Anglia's Children's Hospices Colchester Santa Run.

At least a dozen team members from Care UK in Colchester will be swapping office wear for Santa suits as they enter teams for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) Colchester Santa Run.

Stores in Ipswich ready for Black Friday.

Black Friday is nearly upon us and it is set to kick off the busiest Christmas online shopping periods.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24