I write in response to your correspondent Chris Higgins, who wrote to you (Letters, March 8) regarding the pigeons in Winchester city centre.
Pigeons can cause problems in city centres and Winchester is no exception. There are a range of measures the city council can employ to deal with the problem, but we are looking to fully understand the extent of the issue before deciding which steps are likely to be the most effective. We are currently identifying specific problem areas and assessing where pigeons are having the greatest impact.
Options to address the issue include cleaning areas where pigeon waste accumulates, pigeon proofing buildings, using of birds of prey, acoustic alarms and traps and providing feeding areas in appropriate locations. It may be that a combination of these actions will provide the best way forward, bearing in mind that we are dealing with an historic town centre which is a conservation area with many listed buildings and scheduled ancient monuments.
Whilst the city council is prepared to address the issue, there is an opportunity here for others who have an interest in our city to help – whether they own a building, run a business or visit the shops. Owners can take appropriate steps to deter pigeons from roosting on their premises, businesses can ensure that they manage their waste properly – particularly where they sell food, and shoppers can avoid feeding birds and dispose of their rubbish responsibly. The situation could improve significantly if we work together.
We are developing a plan to ease the situation, building upon the work we have already been carrying out in relation to commercial waste storage in the city centre. However, we are keen to encourage others to support these measures to help ensure they are effective.
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