Bird of prey deployed to tackle Spalding's pigeon problem

Pigeon and hawk
A pest control company is using a hawk to scare off pigeons. Credit: PA

A bird of prey has been deployed to tackle a Lincolnshire town's pigeon problem as one councillor said: "It's a pity we can't shoot them."

Officials in Spalding brought in a pest control company after appeals to the public not to feed the birds failed to reduce the number blighting the town.

A hawk is now being flown around the town centre for 12 weeks, although a Spalding Town Forum meeting heard there were mixed reports over its effectiveness, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

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."

Councillor Elizabeth Sneath said people were still feeding the pigeons.

She said: "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."

Another councillor, Roger Gambba-Jones, suggested CCTV cameras could work.

He said: "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."

The pest control measure is among a number of efforts to clean up Spalding town centre.

Public art, improved public areas, and a café upgrade for Ayscoughfee Hall are also on the cards.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...