June 9, 2022 6.00 pm

‘Stop feeding pigeons’: Council plea as hawk brought in to scare them off

Councillor wants town centre free of ‘disgusting creatures’

By Local Democracy Reporter

Councillors have pleaded with Spalding shoppers to stop feeding pigeons in a bid to rid the town centre of them.

A pest control company has been attempting to scare them off using a hawk.

However, they are still being attracted by people offering them food despite warning signs.

The bird of prey is being flown around the town centre for 12 weeks, although a Spalding Town Forum meeting heard there had been mixed reports over its effectiveness.

Councillor Angela Newton told the meeting: “I’ve heard the pest control company hasn’t had much success in dealing with the pigeons.

“We need to be doing more to clean up the town centre. They are pretty disgusting creatures. It’s a pity we can’t shoot them.

“We used to be braver and send people in to deal with pigeons, but we can’t do that anymore. It’s a shame we can’t keep our town cleaner.”

However, a council officer said he had been told that that the hawk was doing a good job.

Councillor Elizabeth Sneath added: “Unfortunately people are still feeding pigeons. I’ve had evidence of this sent to me, particularly outside Boots.

“There is a sign up, but people are ignoring it, so that is still attracting them to the town centre. We’ve got to stop people feeding them.”

Councillor Roger Gambba-Jones suggested two-way communication on CCTV cameras would be helpful to deter people feeding the birds.

“The operators could sit in Boston and occasionally press the button and say ‘Excuse me, would you mind not feeding the pigeons?’ It would scare the living daylights out of them,” he said.

“It would be helpful to speak to members of the public who are misbehaving.”

The pest control measure is just one of the ways the council is trying to clean up Spalding town centre. Public art, improved public areas, and a café upgrade for Ayscoughfee Hall are also on the cards.

Owners of shabby-looking properties are being encouraged to clean them up before enforcement powers are used to compel this.