Concerns about the number of pigeons in Devizes are due to be raised in the Devizes Town Council Planning Meeting this evening. 

The issue was flagged to a Devizes Town councillor Iain Wallis by the owner of a Newsagents in the town, who is worried about the amount of droppings they are leaving by their shop. 

Wiltshire Councillor Edward Kirk spoke about the issue at the Area Board meeting last night, and as the lead member for the economy, Cllr Wallis told this newspaper he has agreed to “work closely” with any businesses affected by the issue, the town council, and any other interested parties. 

Cllr Wallis said: “I have been approached by traders in the little Brittox who are concerned by the number of pigeons in the area as they believe the droppings are making the footpath unsafe and are contaminating food and products on display.

Wiltshire Times: Excessive droppings outside Devizes business prompts complaints about the number of pigeons. Photo: Trevor Porter.Excessive droppings outside Devizes business prompts complaints about the number of pigeons. Photo: Trevor Porter.

Cllr Wallis has first hand experience of the issue, as he explained he and Cllr Greenwood were “surrounded very quickly” by a flock of 20-30 pigeons as they searched for food last Sunday morning (19/06). 

He added: "I have also had discussions recently with Cllr Greenwood who has raised concerns about two particular members of the public who feed and encourage pigeons. 

“Pigeons are wild animals and I think we all accept they can roam where they wish however we as a council have a responsibility to protect public health and it is not appropriate for pigeons to be encouraged in the town centre in such large numbers. 

Cllr Wallis wants to mirror similar initiatives that have been a success in other areas, to reduce the impact on the town.   

He explained: “When feeding pigeons was banned in Trafalgar Square around twenty years ago the regular lunchtime population of birds dropped from over four thousand to less than two hundred and we must look to this sort of solution in Devizes.”   

He added: “It is regarded as littering and anyone doing it can result in a fine but I believe the best way to tackle this is to get the message out and do what Devizes does best – work as a community to solve the problem.”    

According to legislation, if nuisance birds are causing problems for a business, there are solutions to deal with them legally. 

However, all "reasonable endeavours" should be undertaken to make the premises less attractive to nuisance birds.