'New solutions' in Shrewsbury pigeon mesh row after 30 birds rescued

'New solutions' are being looked at after criticism over birds getting trapped inside 'pigeon-proofing' mesh on one of Shrewsbury's railway bridges.

SHREW COPYRIGHT SHROPSHIRE STAR STEVE LEATH 05/06/2021..Pic in Shrewsbury, Castle Foregate, and new mesh under the rail bridge to keep Pieons out seems to have at least one gap and on some pics you can see a trapped pigeon, and what seemed to be its mate, waiting around for it..
SHREW COPYRIGHT SHROPSHIRE STAR STEVE LEATH 05/06/2021..Pic in Shrewsbury, Castle Foregate, and new mesh under the rail bridge to keep Pieons out seems to have at least one gap and on some pics you can see a trapped pigeon, and what seemed to be its mate, waiting around for it..

Network Rail said it was looking at what could be done to stop the birds being trapped, and ultimately injured, at Castle Foregate Railway Bridge.

Mesh was introduced to 'pigeon-proof the bridge, along with three others in the town, earlier this year.

The move came after complaints that pigeon droppings on the pavement below were presenting a health and safety hazard to people walking underneath the bridge.

But Cuan Wildlife Trust last week raised concerns over the number of animals that have become trapped in the mesh, and said it has had to rescue 30 birds from the location since March.

Mesh has been introduced underneath the bridge to 'pigeon-proof' it

The charity has called for the mesh to be abandoned and for the introduction of nearby pigeon lofts in an attempt to move the birds away from the location.

After sending officials out to examine the site last week Network Rail has said it will address the situation of birds becoming trapped "as quickly and as safely as possible".

A spokesman for the firm said they would be looking a 'new solutions' for the pigeon proofing measures.

He said: "Working with Shropshire council, we recently installed pigeon-proofing to four bridges in the Shrewsbury area, in response to concerns that bird droppings were becoming a serious health hazard for the public.

"We share the public’s concern that birds are getting trapped and we are working with our contractors and the council to address this as quickly and as safely as possible.

A trapped pigeon underneath the bridge, while another appears to wait for the bird to get free

"We are now looking at new solutions to ensure the installation is fit for purpose.

"We will continue to keep local residents updated.”

Speaking last week Bethany Robinson, senior wildlife assistant at Cuan Wildlife Centre, said that one bird had been trapped in the netting for as long as three weeks.

She said that they had footage of its mother trying to feed it through the mesh, while others rescued have been "completely emaciated", with 10 birds having died.

She has called on Network Rail to remove the mesh, board up the underneath of the bridge, and create a nearby pigeon loft with the aim of giving the birds a new 'home'.

A pigeon trapped inside the mesh underneath the bridge

She said: "We would like to see them board it up under the bridge completely so no birds can get in there at all, and then re-home the birds.

"Pigeons are homing birds, they have roosted under there for years, they see it as their home, even though this wire netting is there they still try and get in.

"It has worked in other areas where they make a pigeon loft and the birds are fed there.

"It would be costly but every time they have to go up there they need to get permission to close the road then use a cherry picker to go up and get the bird and patch up the gaps in the net."

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