'If anything it has made me more defiant' - Bird-lover hits back after vandals target sign
PUBLISHED: 16:12 12 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:12 12 March 2019
Copyright: Archant 2019
A feud between a 77-year-old bird lover and his neighbour has escalated after his sign telling residents to "return to the city" if they didn't like wildlife was vandalised.
Eric Goleby, from Hickling, planted the sign in his front lawn after a neighbour complained about his bird feeding habits, which they claimed were attracting rats.
Having compromised and moved his bird feeding stations into his back garden, the widower thought the row had come to an end.
But now, Mr Goleby claims one of his neighbours has vandalised his sign by smothering his message in green paint and dumping it on his lawn.
The 77-year-old said he was angry about the incident but has been happy with the support he has received from other residents on his road in Barnfield Close.
He said: “Whoever has done this clearly has no sense whatsoever.
“The whole complaint is just ridiculous and to do something like this is silly.
“I was quite angry when I saw what had been done but if anything it has made me more defiant.”
Desperate not to be undermined by his neighbour, Mr Goleby now plans to move some of his bird feeders back onto his front garden.
“I haven’t been able to see the birds that well since I moved the feeders around the back so I am going to move a couple of them onto the front lawn,” he said.
“I am really happy with all the support I have received about my bird feeding because I was always told people in the countryside love wildlife.”
He has once again reiterated his message that his neighbours should “return to the city” if they “dislike wildlife”.
Mr Goleby’s landlords, Victory Housing Trust, issued him with a warning letter in January asking him to stop placing trays of feed on his lawn as it could attract rats and other vermin to the area.
A spokesman for the landlords said it was working with Mr Goleby and his neighbour to resolve the situation.
The 77-year-old has been feeding his feathered friends for more than 40 years to honour his late wife Sally, who died last year.
He said Sally - who had been disabled for more than 20 years - struggled to get out of the house but loved nothing more than seeing the birds perched on the lawn.