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Solihull's Land Rover plant hit by bird poo problem

CORROSIVE bird poo has forced car giant Land Rover to install special scarers to keep flocks of seagulls at bay.

CORROSIVE bird poo has forced car giant Land Rover to install special scarers to keep flocks of seagulls at bay.

And in scenes reminiscent of Hitchcock's The Birds, the gulls, miles from the sea, have also been known to attack workers at the Lode Lane factory.

Their dropping have wreaked havoc at the plant - the guano has blocked pipes and is corrosive enough to damage the plush 4x4s, costing over £76,000.

The devices are designed to scare away the seabirds, but some residents are concerned that the noise might disturb other creatures living in nearby Billsmore Wood.

Roger Clench, spokesman for Billsmore Green residents' association, is worried the commotion will frighten bats, owls and other wildlife which lives in the tree.

"That woodland is a Site of Interest for Nature Conservation (SINC) and I'm worried what harm this scarer will do," he said

"I first heard the noise a few weeks ago and it's horrible. It's a sort of high-pitched screech that sounds very much like a dying bird.

"Everyone has problems with animals, whether it's squirrels, pigeons or seagulls, but I believe you have to live with nature instead of kicking it into touch."

According to Mr Clench, the scarers sound every half-an-hour and can be heard on the far side of the Damsonwood Estate - to the chagrin of some locals.

Yesterday Land Rover insisted that the company takes its responsibility to wildlife very seriously and the scarers were introduced because the gulls were causing serious problems.

A spokeswoman said: "We do have an issue with gulls that are very aggressive and have attacked workers. The noise is a gull distress call and is designed to scare off the gulls - not any other animals."

Although Solihull is around 100 miles from the nearest coast, it's one of many inland areas to have been besieged by gulls. A spokesman for the RSPB said that the birds are drawn to cities because of the food supply and the number of flat roofs - which are ideal for nest sites.

*Land Rover has submitted plans to increase the number of floodlights on a car park which lies less than 200 metres from the wood. This has caused further concern for the residents' association, but the car giant have said they are working closely with Solihull Council.

 

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