Netting to be introduced in bid to pigeon-proof Gaskell Memorial Tower

PLANS to install netting at an iconic Knutsford building in an attempt to move pigeons on have been agreed by a town council committee.

The window areas of the Gaskell Memorial Tower at the Belle Époque will be blocked by netting, similar to that at The Courthouse, to deny the birds access.

The tower and surrounding buildings have become overrun with ever-increasing flocks of pigeons, furthering the issue of pigeon fouling in the town centre.

Members of the town council’s assets and operations committee voted to allocate almost £6,000 to the project, which would also see blunted spikes installed to prevent roosting.

Town clerk Adam Keppel-Green wrote in a report to members: “The committee has previously discussed the issue of pigeon fouling within the town centre and the environment committee is looking at town centre-wide options to reduce the overall pigeon population.

“It is proposed to install netting to the window areas on the tower, building and side building to prevent birds infesting the area. The netting will enclose the affected area and deny the birds access.

“This will involve installing steel fixings at each corner and at 500mm intervals to which wire and netting is then attached. There are existing areas of netting on the building already. Netting would be translucent to minimise any visual detraction from the listed building.

“Bird point would be affixed to the top ledges of the tower, ledges on the tower and on the piping around the building. The points are blunted and do not harm the birds but prevent it from being able to balance which encourages them to find a new place to roost.

“Whilst installing the netting and bird point existing bird fouling in the areas would be cleaned up.

“The council’s agent would oversee the works and arrange for listed building consent if required by the conservation officer.

“The cost of the works is £5,934.07.”

The council’s environment committee voted last month to explore further the installation of dovecotes in the town centre, with a budget of £2,600.

Installation will follow discussions with businesses and groups, and will allow for easier destruction of eggs to control the population growth.