Harris Hawk grounded over safety fears

A TOWN council that tried to rid a site of nesting gulls has come to an “impasse” after spending more than �4,000 on a bird of prey that has been grounded for safety reasons.

A TOWN council that tried to rid a site of nesting gulls has come to an “impasse” after spending more than �4,000 on a bird of prey that has been grounded for safety reasons.

Beccles Town Council responded to pleas from residents in Fair Close and Gosford Road who were fed up with the noise and mess caused by the growing colony of gulls.

Councillors agreed to enlist the help of a Harris hawk, which made its maiden flight over the town centre site last month.

But as well as this, neighbours, led by Phillip Page, have also spent hours “stringing up” the derelict factory site with baling twine and tape at close intervals to prevent gulls from landing and nesting.


You may also want to watch:


Town clerk Bernie Broom informed councillors at a meeting that the two approaches had conflicted with each other.

“Nobody thought that stringing the area would also prevent predator birds from landing should they need to do so,” she said.

Most Read

“Occasionally, the birds need to land on the ground, and if the string is there the birds get tangled up, so the contractor is refusing to fly the predator birds.

“As we signed a contract this means we are liable for the whole amount.”

The one-year contract, costing �1,064 per quarter, would involve fortnightly, then weekly flights.

Mrs Broom said Mr Page was refusing to cut down the string, adding: “We are at an impasse.”

The derelict site is owned by Anglia Co-op, which gave the neighbours permission to carry out the stringing.

Mr Page said: “This isn't something we've sprung on them, it's something they have known about since last September when I went to the council meeting.

“I'm sorry it has come to this. I think none of us could foresee it.”

Mr Page said the work had involved at least 40 hours' labour, “several miles” of baling twine and more than 100 wooden stakes.

“There's no way I'm going to take it down, not after working out there all those hours,” he said.

“The resident gulls which have been about here over the winter months don't land anymore - they haven't been landing since we put the string up.” Councillors decided that action had to be taken as a matter of urgency ahead of the nesting season in the spring, and voted to contact Anglia Co-op to ask for its guidance.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus