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‘People see them and run for cover’ - Frustration over bird droppings in residential square

PUBLISHED: 14:08 03 March 2020 | UPDATED: 14:11 03 March 2020

Cliff Card, 74, lives on Kent Square in Great Yarmouth, where a flock of defecating starlings has been causing problems. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

Cliff Card, 74, lives on Kent Square in Great Yarmouth, where a flock of defecating starlings has been causing problems. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

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A flock of possibly thousands of birds roosting in a residential square in Great Yarmouth has been causing havoc by defecating on cars and houses.

A flock of defecating starlings has been causing problems on Kent Square in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Daniel Hickey.A flock of defecating starlings has been causing problems on Kent Square in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

Twice a day residents of Kent Square are afraid to step outside over concerns of being caught in the onslaught.

Cliff Card, 74, living there for more than 20 years, described the scene at twilight when the starlings come down to roost, "falling down like an avalanche onto the trees".

"The problem is so severe, every night we are getting between ten and twenty thousand birds roosting in the trees," he said.

"They arrive at around 6pm and leave at 6.30am, everyone of them defecating.

A flock of defecating starlings has been causing problems on Kent Square in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Daniel Hickey. A flock of defecating starlings has been causing problems on Kent Square in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

"Every car and flat surface is bombed with bird droppings," he said.

Mr Card has reported the problem to the borough council.

In a statement the council said: "we understand the inconvenience of the mess caused by roosting birds in that area and have arranged for a survey of the area to assess whether additional cleansing of the pavements is necessary to reduce the risk of slips.

"The trees are by a protected Tree Preservation Order that genuinely prohibits work on them without consent from the council.

A flock of defecating starlings has been causing problems on Kent Square in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Daniel Hickey. A flock of defecating starlings has been causing problems on Kent Square in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

"The council will be surveying the trees to decide whether any work needs to be carried out on them," the spokesperson said.

The starlings moved to the square, where three-storey Victorian houses surround a small green supporting five holm oaks, in the winter of 2017.

Until then they had nested in St George's Park but, following an incident when a person slipped on accumulated bird faeces, the council used a laser device to deter the birds from roosting there.

"This year the problem has become a lot worse," Mr Card said.

Kevin Davidson, 59, who also lives on the square, said he has taken his car to the jet wash three times over the past four days.

"The stench is like a poultry farm. It smells horrendous," he said.

"We can't take the dog for a walk on the green because it's dangerous. It's never been this bad before."

Another resident said the situation is "annoying".

"I have to wash my windows six times a week," he said. "You can't go out. People see them and they run for cover."

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