Bird proofing those hard to reach places
Church bell towers are an attractive prospect for birds such as feral pigeons offering a sheltered environment for roosting and nesting, safety from predators and lookout for feeding opportunities.
Bird problems – We have the answer!
If you are responsible for church maintenance you will be aware of how bird infestation in and around belfries can damage masonry and rainwater disposal systems. It can also create health and slip hazards because of increased levels of fouling around the building,particularly on entrance steps. Three churches in the North West have called Peter Cox bird control experts to help them clear up the mess caused by bird infestation and deter birds from creating further disturbance in the future.
All Saints Church, Gresford near Wrexham is famous for its bells which are listed as one of the Seven Wonders of Wales because of the purity of their tone and are even commemorated in a poem. The church itself is remarkable for its size,beauty, interior church monuments, and its churchyard yew trees. Peter Cox has installed netting to the two openings to the belfry on each of the four tower elevations. Stone coloured 19mm UV stabilised polyethylene netting was used,ﬁxed with stainless steel anchors and tension wires.
At nearby St Mary’s, Overton on Dee, the origins of the church building are from the late Norman period in architecture. Birds had managed to penetrate an existing wire mesh resulting in fouling and nesting material which had to be cleared from behind the belfry louvres. Netting was installed both inside and out to the existing wooden frames.
With high level access so costly it makes sense for churches to take full advantage when scaffolding is erected for masonry or other repairs. This is an ideal opportunity to review existing bird deterrent measures, check gutters for blockage by bird fouling and install further deterrents if necessary.
That’s what happened at St George’s Tyldesley, a grade II listed building near Manchester. The church was the site of the town’s ﬁrst public clock which was installed on the tower in 1847, paid for by public subscription. A four-faced clock was installed in 1913 which until 1967 was wound by hand but it is now electriﬁed.
Recent repairs to the clock provided the opportunity for Peter Cox to clean the tower and clock mechanism of fouling and other bird detritus and then install black coloured netting to all 12 belfry openings in order to prevent birds from returning in the future.
Many of our churches buildings are of great architectural and historical beauty and regular review of bird deterrence systems will help keep them that way.
The perfect solution to keeping birds on the move
Selecting the right system for each site and situation is the key to successful bird proofing. They must be designed for the specific species involved, but at the same time thought needs to be given to the buildings aesthetics and a balanced approach taken.
Sometimes a combination of deterrent systems is required. Peter Cox understands people’s perceptions of what bird proofing is reasonably required will be different,and will change as projects progress.
We are happy to work with clients,architects and conservation officers to help find bird deterrent solutions which are “best fit” for each building or project, are as aesthetically unobtrusive as possible and of course, are effective.