Rich Pickings for The Hawk of Eaton Square
Once a week Wayne Parsons ensures Belgravia’s Eaton Square remains pigeon-free by deploying a Harris Hawk called Lizzy to scare the pests away.
Published in The London Evening Standard - April 2012
Could this be the pest controller with the most well-heeled clients?
Once a week Wayne Parsons ensures Belgravia's Eaton Square remains pigeon-free by deploying a Harris Hawk called Lizzy to scare the pests away.
The square has been home to two Prime Ministers, Neville Chamberlain and Stanley Baldwin, and now counts Charles Saatchi and Nigella Lawson, hedge fund chief George Soros and Sir Sean Connery among its residents.
Mr Parsons, 52, said: "Using hawks is a far more humane way of pest control than trapping them or shooting them, definitely in a place like Eaton Square. I fly the hawk through the trees in the central garden and then get her up to the top of the buildings as the pigeons stir at dawn."
He and Lizzy spend up to two hours every Tuesday on patrol. Mr Parsons is one of 10 falconers at Van Vynck Environmental, a pest control company contracted by the Duke of Westminster’s Grosvenor Estates.
David Van Vynck who has run the firm for 12 years after taking over from his father, said: "Eaton Square may be one of the most expensive in London but the thing with pigeons is that they have no respect for their surroundings. I'm sure Buckingham Palace has its fair share of problems."