Page last updated at 06:56 GMT, Thursday, 10 July 2008 07:56 UK

Nesting gull halts 260m tunnel

Herring gull (generic) Science Photo Library
The demolition has been delayed

Work on a 260m road tunnel has been halted by a nesting seagull.

The herring gull has set up home in the chimney of a pub in the path of the second Tyne Tunnel, being built from Jarrow to East Howdon.

Tunnel contractors TT2 have postponed demolition of the Gas Light pub for up to two months, as wildlife laws prevent the nest from being disturbed.

Work to knock down the 200-year-old building in Jarrow will resume when the fledgling chicks have flown the nest.

TT2 spokeswoman Tamsin Greulich said: "Work has not ground to a halt but it has been delayed, possibly for as much as a couple of months.

"We were due to demolish the pub but are instead going to work around it, for the time being.

"The mother gull sits there on top of the chimney stack, keeping a close eye on what's going on, and we're going to leave her be until the chicks have gone."

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 protects all wild birds, their nests and their eggs.

The pub was earmarked for demolition after fears tunnelling could collapse the structure on Commercial Row.


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