Council tree cutting may solve birds' mess issue in Yarmouth square

Paul Burton and a starling

Starlings have been causing issues for residents of Kent Square in Great Yarmouth. Now the council are planning to crown the oak trees in the area to prevent the birds from roosting. - Credit: Archant

A council which has struggled to get rid of troublesome birds from a public square say it hope its regular tree maintenance could help.

Residents of Kent Square have said they are fed up with their cars, doorsteps and windows being splattered with starling mess.

Starlings have been staging nightly performances over Great Yarmouth Picture: Liz Coates

Murmurations occur in the winter when starlings join together in the sky. While it looks beautiful, they cause issues for people below. - Credit: Archant

Each winter, starlings roost in trees around the Kent Square and York Road area and form murmurations in the evenings.

The problem has been going on for five years, but residents have said it has recently worse than ever.

Bins covered in starling droppings

Bins covered in starling droppings - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A murmuration can contain up to 100,000 starlings and that has caused a lot of issues for the households below.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council have tried to tackle the issue with the use of laser pens and audible humane deterrents - which emulate the calls of starlings while in distress. The distress calls encourage the birds to roost elsewhere.

But now the council have said they will also monitor the amount of birds roosting in the surrounding area following routine maintenance of Kent Square's five holm oak trees.

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

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

The proposed maintenance involves trimming the lower branches of a tree to elevate the height of its crown base.

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A Great Yarmouth Borough Council spokesman said: “We know that residents have raised concerns about starlings in the area, which are a natural phenomenon and very difficult to control.

"The work to reduce the tree size is part of our usual maintenance programme. While it is not specifically aimed at the starling population, we will monitor the impact of the work alongside our ongoing trials of visual and audible humane bird deterrents.”

Resident Paul Burton said: "The council will definitely need to do something. We'll just have to wait and see what happens."

Mr Burton said there have been fewer starlings in the area over the past several days.

"Last night, none were coming into roost," he said.

"They've either migrated or been driven to St George's Park.

"They were due to migrate about now, but we'll find out in November.

"We've all got lasers now so hopefully we can scare them off before roosting."

The council has used laser pens as a deterrent in the past. Roosting starlings had used St George's Park as a home base but, following an incident when a person slipped on accumulated bird faeces, they were successfully moved on.

Starlings are a widespread bird, being found in a variety of different habitats, however their numbe

Starlings are a widespread bird, being found in a variety of different habitats, however their numbers have been in decline for some years. - Credit: Sarah Kelman