Preventing pigeons at National Trust Site, Wimpole Estate

Nesting pigeons disrupted at a key National Trust site restoration project

As the dereliction ran over a number of years without maintenance, the tower at Wimpole offered wildlife and birds a safe and sheltered opportunity for a home. The initial survey quickly identified that the pigeons were a problem which needed to be dealt with. Even before restoration could commence nearly 6 tonnes of pigeon droppings had to be removed!

The pigeons however carried on roosting in the area after the droppings were cleared continuing the cycle. This added new pigeon droppings onto the restoration scaffolding as well as inside the tower. All bird droppings harbour bacteria and thus can pose a risk to staff, the public and contractors. In order to prevent a future risk to workers and contractors a future build up of pigeon droppings needed to be prevented.

Project overview

NBC were invited by the National Trust to provide support on the restoration of Wimpole’s Folly on the Wimpole Estate. The Wimpole Estate is a large country estate in Cambridgeshire, which is owned and managed by the National Trust. The estate was built in 1640 and is the largest estate in Cambridgeshire with gardens and a working farm.

The restoration works are a major undertaking by the National Trust with the work scheduled for completion in December 2014. However, the works were not straightforward as the disrepair had left the ‘doors’ open for an unwelcome visitor to take up residence…

Why Wimpole’s folly attracted the pigeons & pigeon behaviour

The tower provides a perfect vantage point for the pigeons, this enables them to observe the surrounding area for food and threats. The Folly’s ruins provide ample room for shelter and opportunity for nesting for many pigeons. Once in situ, a pigeon population will quickly grow as pigeons can breed (if conditions are optimum) all year round with eggs laid up to 4 times per year.

As well as providing the perfect nesting place, the Wimpole Estate provides a wide area for pigeons to find regular food sources.

If you have a pigeon problem and need advice, talk to your local NBC team by calling 0333 567 2020.

Read our useful article 'How To Deter Pigeons' for advice on how to avoid pigeon problems.

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