Pigeon proposal

PIGEONS could be lured from the centre of Huntingdon to a new feeding area on the outskirts of town as part of a proposal which could cost up to £10,000. A dedicated feeding area could be providing pigeon meals by spring 2007 in bid to free the town centr

PIGEONS could be lured from the centre of Huntingdon to a new feeding area on the outskirts of town as part of a proposal which could cost up to £10,000.

A dedicated feeding area could be providing pigeon meals by spring 2007 in bid to free the town centre of the birds, but only if numbers increase.

Huntingdon Town Centre Partnership has for the past few years been looking into ways of reducing the number of pigeons after complaints from the public.

Emma Thornton, town centre manager, told The Hunts Post: "We have looked in to the pigeon problem in Huntingdon town centre in great detail. Many people do not want pigeons in the town centre either because they see them as being dirty or they are scared of them, and we are trying to address this."

In March, 2005, the partnership commissioned a report by Picas UK. The company specialises in providing advice and support on controlling pigeon populations without resorting to lethal measures.

Picas recommended a feeding area for pigeons should be built on the outskirts of the town centre. This option is now being considered by the partnership, which had identified a site for the new feeding area, opposite the bus station.

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However, its request to turn it in to a pigeon feeding area was turned down by the owners of the land, The Huntingdon Freeman's Society. Another site has now been identified next to the bus shelter and the partnership has submitted a proposal to Huntingdonshire District Council for consideration.

Mrs Thornton, added: "A system is there should we need to use it. But we have put the scheme on the back burner at the moment as the pigeon population seems to have reduced since the improvements to St Benedict's Court with the removal of the gazebo and the burger van.

The scheme, which could cost between £5,000 to £10,000, would also include a public education campaign and possibly new bylaws to prohibit the feeding of pigeons in the town centre.

The focal point of the feeding area would be a dovecote.

Huntingdon Town Centre Partnership is supported by Huntingdon Town Council, Huntingdon District Council, Clegg, Sainsbury's Waitrose, Boots, Church Manor, The Old Bridge, Marks & Spencer and St Benedict's Court Shopping.

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