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Cockerels ruffle feathers

PUBLISHED: 10:55 21 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:49 30 June 2010

IT'S a clarion alarm call and a familiar sound of rural life - a cockerel's cry to mark the dawn of a new day.

But now it could be cock-a-doodle-don't with cockerels set to be banned from a Norfolk village, because of complaints about the noise they make.

IT'S a clarion alarm call and a familiar sound of rural life - a cockerel's cry to mark the dawn of a new day.

But now it could be cock-a-doodle-don't with cockerels set to be banned from a Norfolk village, because of complaints about the noise they make.

A storm is brewing in Burnham Market with many villagers divided into two camps - those who own cockerels and those who are fed up with being woken up in the early hours.

Many claim the cockerel's cry is the quintessential sound of village life, and say they want to continue keeping the birds they have loved for years.

But those living near the parish council-owned allotments where the cockerels are kept say over the last year the noise has become unbearable, and are threatening legal action to get the birds out of the village.

Parish council clerk Beverly Boughen said: “Cockerels are part of rural life, we've had them here for as long as I can remember - but now they will probably have to go.

“At the end of the day it's a village and we'd like to keep a village life. It's a shame really, but it's just a few people who want a change.”

Villagers living near the 25 allotments at Angles Lane say the number of cockerels has increased dramatically in the last year, causing sleepless nights with morning calls starting as early as 3.30am.

They quote laws which say hens are allowed on allotments, where cockerels are not.

One resident, who said they wished not to be named because of fears she would be shunned in the community, said: “The fact is they are illegal - and are all of us living nearby are being woken up in the middle of the night, it's unbearable.”

Another said: “The people who have cockerels don't live near them. As far as we are concerned it's sorted - the cockerels have to go.”

Ms Boughen said the council is seeking legal advice, and a decision will be made by councillors shortly.

She added: “At first the council turned a blind eye to the complaints, but now we have been threatened legal action the councillors are quite concerned about what might happen, so we don't have a lot of choice but say they have got to go. It's a bit of a shame, but we have to think about the council as well.”


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