[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 12 January 2006, 08:09 GMT
Eviction threat for pigeon feeder
Pigeons feeding
Neighbours say the pigeons are a health hazard
A council tenant who has infuriated her neighbours for 10 years by feeding hundreds of pigeons in her front garden has been warned she faces eviction.

Lewisham Council said Norma Hughes had ignored repeated warnings about feeding the birds, which neighbours said posed a health risk and cause a nuisance.

She has been told to stop by Monday, or a possession order will be sought.

Mrs Hughes said she was an animal lover and felt she was "helping nature" by feeding up to 50 birds a day.

We have spoken to her and written to her in the hope that she would stop
Susan Wise
Lewisham Council

Her neighbours in Bellingham, near Catford, have been complaining since 1996 that she was bringing health risks to the area.

Some said they have never been able to hang out washing or enjoy their gardens, others say hundreds of pounds worth of damage has been caused to roofs and gutters.

But there have been complaints the council is being too heavy-handed by threatening eviction.

Susan Wise, from Lewisham Council, said they did not want to have to evict her, but she had left them little choice.

"I agree with the neighbours that eviction is a serious issue, " she told BBC London.

I feel I'm helping nature
Norma Hughes

"We have tried to take a softly approach with Mrs Hughes, we have spoken to her and written to her in the hope that she would stop. The onus is on her really to stop feeding these pigeons.

"Reluctantly we have had to take this route now, seeking a notice of possession, for her to take us seriously."

But Ms Hughes - who has been feeding the pigeons for 17 years - told BBC London she got up early in the morning so as not to disturb the neighbours and said the birds were not there all day.

"I feel I'm helping nature," she said.

"I just enjoy feeding birds - I like birds."

Pigeon feeder facing council fine
19 Dec 05 |  Northern Ireland
Town urged not to feed the birds
30 Nov 05 |  South Yorkshire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific