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Delays Avoided with Risk of Nesting Peregrines

Temporarily re-homing Peregrine Falcons while completing construction works

Rochdale Town Hall is a Victorian-era municipal building in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England. It is "widely recognised as being one of the finest municipal buildings in the country", and is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building. The presence of Peregrine Falcons at this site was a risk to the planned remediation works as Peregrine Falcons have legal protection under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to conserve their numbers.

It is an offence to intentionally take, injure or kill any UK bird or to take, damage or destroy its nest, eggs and young. It is also an offence to intentionally or recklessly disturb the birds close to their nest during the breeding season which was the main concern for Hydrock.

A specialist remediation contractor, HH Smith and Sons, won the works to complete a full refurbishment of the town hall. But very quickly came across an issue. The site posed an ecological challenge due to the appearance of Peregrine Falcons in the area. HH Smith and Sons looked for help and with NBC being the number 1 specialist in bird and wildlife management and also having previously done something similar we were happy to help.

Our Solution

Our Manchester Team had to act fast. At the time the peregrine falcons had not begun nesting so could not delay remediation works however the potential risk was that it would do so. At time of survey there were clear signs of sustained occupation – a nesting box was purposely built so we proposed to carefully take this down and re-use at another location where it was agreed we could re-home on a temporary basis – 27mm x 27mm netting was used in the 4 x sides of the clock tower to prevent entry and it was designed and installed in such a way where the falcon was not only unable to land but to also prevent any form of injury.

The objective was to allow operations to continue on site without impacting the Peregrine Falcons and avoid delays but their potential nesting in area marked for remediation. The main area of risk was north facing however with 3 identical areas it was agreed that all 4 sides would be netted. Once works have been completed we will go back to site and take everything down allowing the falcons to re-home.

Find out more about our Nesting Bird Mitigation Services

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