Starling mess trees are a 'benefit' to Great Yarmouth's economy

The starlings are roosting in these trees in Kent Square

The starlings are roosting in these trees in Kent Square - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A bid to cut back five trees that are home to a flock of messy starlings in Great Yarmouth is to be discussed tonight.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council's development control committee will look at its own scheme for the holm oak trees in Kent Square.

Residents of Kent Square and surrounding roads have complained about having to clean up starling mess from their homes and cars as the birds leave and return to their roosts.

It is hoped that by removing all branches that exist up to five metres from the ground level and cutting back any remaining limbs above five metres in height by up to two metres from their tips it could put off starlings roosting there.

However one resident has contacted the council to say the tree maintenance programme should not go ahead as the murmurations of starlings attract people to the town.

The objection says:  "Has the council considered the benefits these birds bring?

"Many people have visited Great Yarmouth to witness the stunning murmurations, providing income through parking charges and spending money on local shops and cafes when otherwise they would not visit Great Yarmouth.

Residents in the Kent Square area are fed up of the starling mess

Residents in the Kent Square area are fed up of the starling mess - Credit: Sonya Duncan


"A biodiversity plan for the area is needed to include the starlings.

"The revenue the murmuration sightings bring in could be significant if the council promoted the spectacle some more."

Planning papers for tonight's meeting show that 10 letters of support or no objection to the tree cutting plan have been sent into the council.

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Comments say the scheme will help with the starling problem and help tidy up the area.

The council papers say the tree cutting bid should be recommended for approval.

The planning papers say: "The tree works as proposed are potentially extensive but are designed to retain the majority of the crown and ensure they remain significant in the
townscape.

A car covered in starling mess caused by the Kent Square flock

A car covered in starling mess caused by the Kent Square flock - Credit: Sonya Duncan

"A consequence of the works is that it will also remove some
roosting space on exposed lower branches for starlings in particular.

"The works are not considered be likely to have a significant impact on the appearance of the trees and will ensure that they remain healthy by minimising the risk of vehicles striking the trees."