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EDITIONS
 Thursday, 9 January, 2003, 13:20 GMT
Battle of Trafalgar Square's pigeons ends
Pigeons in Trafalgar Square
Up to 4,000 pigeons flock to the feeding sessions
A peace deal has been announced between London Mayor Ken Livingstone and campaigners who want to feed the pigeons in Trafalgar Square.

Mr Livingstone wants to get rid of the pigeons because he believes they are a health hazard and create a mess in the area.

But campaigners had carried on feeding the birds even after the licensed feed sellers were banned two years ago.

Now a phased feeding programme has been agreed which the mayor hopes will reduce the number of pigeons.

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone
I am confident that we have found a solution that will gradually reduce the numbers of pigeons in the square without causing them any harm

Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London
The mayor blames the pigeons' corrosive droppings for causing 140,000 of damage to Nelson's Column and the square.

Since the feed sellers were banned, people have been employed to scare off the birds with hawks and megaphones and a vacuum device is used to suck up the seeds.

But volunteers continued to turn up every day to scatter seeds, attracting thousands of pigeons to London's most famous square.

Under the deal, an independent scientist will monitor the six-month feeding programme.

The feeding time will gradually be moved back from lunchtime to 0800 GMT and the amount of food slowly reduced.

Public arena

Campaigners have agreed to stop scattering seed and there will also be a ban on feeding the birds outside the official times.

"I am confident that we have found a solution that will gradually reduce the numbers of pigeons in the square without causing them any harm," Mr Livingstone said.

He wants to make the square a public arena for entertainers and introduce street cafes.

Work is already going on to pedestrianise the northern side linking it with the National Gallery.


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See also:

21 Nov 02 | England
19 Nov 02 | England
19 Jan 01 | UK
31 Oct 00 | Politics
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