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A final solution to Hungerford's pigeon problem?

COULD a final solution to Hungerford’s perennial pigeon problem be winging our way?

The latest suggestion is to trap the creatures, transport them and then release them... in Whitby.

Unsurprisingly, perhaps, town councillors in the Yorkshire coastal resort seemed less than overwhelmingly enthused when approached by the Newbury Weekly News for their views.

Pigeons are causing problems in Hungerford (46818320)
Pigeons are causing problems in Hungerford (46818320)

In fact, the issue has been a serious problem for Hungerford, with residents demanding action over the years.

Back in 2018 councillor Richard Hudson warned: “Things are now quite critical... there are hundreds of them. Everyone keeps shouting at us about it. We need to do something.”

Feral pigeon droppings are not only unsightly and a slip hazard, but they pose known health risks.

However, a cull conducted several years ago sparked outrage in some quarters.

Other measures proposed, or tried with varying degrees of success, have included using a visible deterrent known as ‘fire gel’, creating a ‘pigeon hotel’ complete with dummy eggs and netting off popular roosting spots.

At a virtual meeting of the town council’s highways and transport committee on Monday night, deputy mayor Keith Knight said an offer had been made to trap and transport the pigeons before releasing them in Whitby.

He added: “Apparently, they wouldn’t fly back here from such a location. We’ve tried other alternatives without making progress. We’re going round in circles.”

But Whitby Town Council clerk Michael King said he was not sure colleagues would appreciate Hungerford exporting its feral pigeon problem to the coastal resort.

He conceded: “To be honest, pigeons aren’t much of a problem here.”

But, he added: “The gulls certainly are. Any pigeon problem fades into insignificance to the gulls.

“We do have a wildlife rescue centre here but I’m not aware that they would be able to cope, either.”

Nevertheless, Hungerford’s highways and transport committee agreed to explore the offer.

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