Traders raise alarm about pigeons in Uckfield High Street

Uckfield traders are concerned about the number of pigeons gathering on roofs and ledges above shops in the town’s High Street and about their droppings building up on the pavements.

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Martin Sergison in front of the old Post Office building in Uckfield High Street which is one of the places pigeons congregate in town. Pest control company Cleankill Environmental Services said any more than six pigeons gathering can be considered a health problem.

Martin Sergison, who runs Cheese Etc with his partner Sharon Douglas, pointed out pigeons on the roof of the former Post Office, see our picture above, and said there weren’t as many there as usual.

“It is revolting for people. They are stepping in the droppings, bringing them into the shops and into their own homes. Something should be done,” he said.

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Just one section of Uckfield High Street where pigeon fouling is a problem.

Mr Sergison’s concern was shared by traders at Footcraft, Noble Wines, and at KC News where, as soon as the path is swept or washed, the build up of droppings starts again.

Kevin Comar, owner of KC News, said he cleans outside his shop every morning. “It is a terrible problem.”

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Kevin Comar of KC News cleans the pavement outside his shop every day but, he says, pigeon droppings soon build up again.

Paul Bates, managing director of pest control company Cleankill Environmental Services said pigeons carried diseases and that was why some people called them ‘flying rats’.

He said that when they are spotted gathering in great numbers it normally means someone is feeding them, or the birds are roosting in the roof – or, if it is a new problem, then perhaps a nearby building has been knocked down and the birds have had to find a new place to live.

Mr Bates said: “Pigeon fouling is a huge problem – not only making pavements slippery but the droppings can carry airbourne bacteria, affect asthma sufferers and also cause Bird Fanciers’ Lung.

“The wet droppings can also attract flies. Pigeon fouling building up in loft spaces is a particular health hazard. The droppings attract textile pests and bird mites.

“Anything more than half a dozen can be considered a health problem, especially as pigeons are breeding throughout the year, and the numbers are increasing.”

Mr Bates said that to stop pigeons congregating people needed to stop feeding the birds.

Wealden District Council carries out a range of rodent and insect infestation treatments for residents but does not carry out pigeon culling operations.

A spokesman for the council said: “We will investigate and see if action can be taken. However the number of pigeons can only be controlled by bird proofing buildings. Culling is not an option due to the impact on the environment.”

Readers’ comments:

Sue Daniel said in an email: The solution might be similar to one they have come up with on the Eastbourne Industrial Estate. On the roofs of the warehouses they have a fabric Kite/Buzzard, it flutters on the end of a long thin bendy rod and puts off the seagulls landing on the roofs. If it works for seagulls it could work for pigeons. Quite a few of the warehouses have them. An environmentally friendly solution too.

Wendy Broadbery said on the Uckfield News Facebook page: Lived here 30 years and there seem to be no more pigeons than when I got here. Live with it.

Also on Facebook Carol Usher Hyland Beechwood said: It was awful yesterday they were flying across the road and pooing everywhere. Vermin

Visit the Facebook page to see more comments.

See also:

New electoral arrangements proposed for East Sussex and Wealden councils

Uckfield firefighter Ian Ritchie retires after 36 years

Uckfield Rugby Club plans 50th anniversary gala ball

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