Many of us know of metal spikes being used to deter the homeless from sleeping in shop doorways and pavements. Those were controversial enough, however now, they are ‘anti-pigeon spikes’ on trees. Yes, it is true!
Jennifer Garrett spotted the spikes in Clifton, Bristol, on 19 December and took to Twitter to share her anger at seeing them.
She said: ‘Our war on wildlife: now birds are not allowed in trees…?! Pigeon spikes spotted in Clifton, Bristol above a car park. Has anyone seen this before? How is it allowed?!”
Understandably, her tweet sparked widespread anger at those responsible. Alex Morss tweeted: ‘For once, I am actually lost for words’.
Iain Green tweeted: ‘I’m lost for words at how appalling this is!’ Donna Rainey added: ‘We have reached a new low. Appalling!’
Spikes are typically used to stop birds resting and building nests on buildings – they can be found in shopping centres like Manchester Arndale or Trafford Centre for example. They are installed to protect shoppers from falling bird poo. However, using them on trees is a rare occurrence.
They were nailed to two trees in the front garden of privately-owned flats near Clifton Down and Pembroke Road, in Bristol. Despite the spikes being plastic and not metal, people have responded to Ms Garrett’s tweet in disgust.
The Green Party tweeted: ‘This is absolutely appalling. Trees made uninhabitable to birds – for the sake of car parking’.
‘Bird poo is a big problem’
According to a resident of the flats, who did not wish to be named, the spikes are there to ‘protect the cars’ from bird poo. The cars include expensive BMWs and Audis.
The resident told the Bristol Post: ‘There is a big problem with bird droppings around here. They can really make a mess of cars, and for some reason they [the birds] do seem to congregate around this area.’
They added that they can see why some people might see it as cruel but there are way many more trees nearby for birds to nest in.
‘We did try other methods to scare off the birds. I think we had a wooden bird of prey in the branches, but that didn’t seem to do anything.
Paula O’Rourke, Green councillor for Clifton, condemned the spikes and said she would be looking into this with the council.
Photo Credit: Rosalyn Warren