A small number of ‘anti-bird spikes’ in trees are necessary to protect children from harmful bird poo, says a Clifton resident.
The man, who asked not to be named, has spoken out in defence of the controversial bird deterrent, which sparked anger when spotted by a nature writer in two trees off Clifton Down road.
News of the spikes has gone viral, with many criticising the residents and management company for depriving birds of their natural habitat to protect expensive cars.
And now more than 50,000 people have signed two petitions calling for the spikes to be taken down.
But the anonymous resident of the buildings in question – who describes himself a nature lover – claims the spikes provide an important health and safety function and prevent children from touching bird poo which can contain harmful toxins.
“This is not about expensive cars being protected, it is to do with the health and safety of families and I assure you we still live side by side with the pigeons as we can see them, hear them and we continue to see their poo in other areas of the property.
“You may know the saying ‘before you judge a person, walk a mile in their shoes’. Try to imagine five dollops of pigeon faeces on your windscreen or a dollop on your door handle first thing in the morning every morning in the summer.
“Imagine you are in your suit or uniform on your way to work or to see a client, imagine it is on your windscreen so you have to clean it manually as your wipers will only smudge your view, imagine your young children accidentally touching this as they walk past an adjacent car or it is on your door handle.”
The resident claims the need to constantly wash the bird poo off cars is not environmentally friendly and parents in the flats have become “taxis” for their children so they can avoid the mess.
He also described the poo of wood pigeons – frequent nesters in the trees – as particularly large and difficult to remove.
“The vast majority of cars in Bristol or elsewhere do not park under a tree that can support the weight of a pigeon or a pair of pigeons so people do not understand the extent of the problem,” he said.
“We all get bird poo on our cars, but the typical robin, blue tit, wren, finch or other small bird poo is a thin white spot usually 1 inch across.
“A large bird such as a wood pigeon poos a thicker version, typically with berry seeds mixed in during the summer, and it is a much larger blot at 3-5 inches across.”
The resident says neither the management company Hillcrest Estate Management or other households in the buildings are “anaesthetised to nature” – instead they simply want to find a way to minimise the spread of poo without affecting the trees.
He also claims the reaction to the coverage is “affecting the wellbeing” of residents and “mob psychology” has taken over.
Put up in 2014, the controversial spikes were spotted by Jennifer Garrett last week who took to Twitter to express her outrage at what she described as “our war on wildlife”.
A different resident of the flats told the Bristol Post the spikes were put up “solely” to protect the cars which park underneath the trees – which include BMW’s and Audi’s.
The story has since gone viral and has been discussed by news outlets around the world.
Hillcrest Estate Management, claim it has tried several different measures to deter the birds including CDs and fake birds of prey.
After these proved ineffective, it attached the spikes to 20 per cent of the lower branches of the two trees after advice from a tree surgeon.
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