Grantham estate blighted by bird poo
Flocks of nesting starlings are causing misery for neighbours on a Grantham housing estate by covering the area in their poop.
Neighbours on Kinoulton Court on the Earlsfield estate, believe that the birds started appearing after trees lining the walkway connecting the Greenwood’s Row car park with the Isaac Newton Shopping Centre were cut down in 2015.
Despite South Kesteven District Council trimming the hedges to try and deter the birds last year, residents believe that more should be done after the starlings returned in December.
Kinoulton Court resident Martin Smil, 42, said: “Their poo goes everywhere. It is hell. We shouldn’t have to live like this. I have e-mailed environment protection to make them aware. Two officers arrived to take a few photos and clean a couple of windows but nothing since.”
Martin says it is having an impact on his taxi business.
He added: “I spent my car wash budget in one week, so now I have to clean the taxi’s by hand each night to make them presentable, so I can keep on working.”
But he is mainly worried about the impact to his health and others.
He added: “Thousands of birds settle in the hedges behind our block of flats every single night. We can’t even open the windows as the smell is horrendous. The droppings contain dangerous diseases including salmonella and flu like infection viruses. I am normally fit and healthy but I have started to feel unwell.”
SKDC cabinet member for environment, Councillor Dr Peter Moseley said: “SKDC is taking action to manage the problems that starlings are causing at the rear of the Urban Hotel. A street services team will be cleaning the area on the Kinoulton Court side of the hedge where the birds are roosting and has cleaned windows on one side of its flats. We are in contact with residents in Kinoulton Court and explained that we are working with the hotel, which owns the hedge, to disperse them naturally.
“We are sympathetic, but the situation is complicated by the birds’ legal protected status under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. We are limited in what we can do as starlings are a red listed declining species. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds have advised us that the birds will move on from their winter roost at the end of February to start nesting elsewhere.
One course of action might be tape equipment giving off bird distress calls, as recommended by the RSPB, and floating a bird of prey model above the hedge to deter them from roosting. Once the starlings have moved, we will continue to work with the RSPB and the Urban Hotel to see how we can try to minimize the impact in the future.”