Keeping a hawk’s eye on cleaning up estate
Published in the Basildon Yellow Advertiser - June 2012
Harris hawks are being used to clean up a Basildon estate.
The birds of prey have been commissioned to disperse flocks of pigeons, which are causing a nuisance on the Craylands estate.
Basildon Borough Council cut the number of pigeons significantly by humane trapping, but is now using falconry to disrupt the breeding and roosting patterns of the pigeons.
Phil Turner, deputy council leader and cabinet member for housing and landlord services, said "Flocks of pigeons are a blight on the neighbourhood and pose a significant health risk from the parasites and bacteria that live in their waste.
"It is essential we reduce the flock sizes as they are breeding too quickly and leaving their mess all over the estate including on people's washing, in soffits and behind fascia boards."
Pest control company Van Vynck Environmental have been contracted to carry out the falconry on the estate.