There has been a major pigeon problem at the railway bridge in Fisherton Street for over 30 years, with many birds getting trapped under the bridge and not being able to get away. This has resulted in many birds losing their lives, as well as the mess that this problem presents, with guano, old nests and of course the bodies themselves.
We were asked to get involved in removing all the old netting, clean and clear all the nests, and remove all the birds, dead or alive.
The site is a major artery into the City centre, so day work would be too disruptive to the flow of commuter traffic and residents, therefore, working through the night was the only option. But even working through the night demands road closure, especially on such a critical junction. This job started many weeks ago with securing the road closure for the week; this involves communication and agreement from many different parties, Network Rail, Highways England and Wiltshire County Council. Finally, the week was agreed, and traffic management all sorted.
The next logistic to work out was what to do with all the baby pigeons that needed to be cared for and re-homed. We work very closely with the London Wildlife Protection and frequently get these guys involved. The first night’s work was to ensure all live birds were removed unharmed and taken to a place of safety. We lost count after the removal of 60 live pigeons, most of them babies, but they were all boxed up safely and transported to Tiggywinkles, who are open 24hrs and accepted all the birds.
Finally onto the big clean up and installing weld mesh to prevent further pigeons being able to enter into the bridge. As the site is so important for commuters we are working on a couple of van-mounted cherry pickers so that we remain totally mobile just in case we need to make a quick move!
We are now just a couple of days (well nights!) into the job with a few more left to go and so far so good.. all the pigeons were removed safely, all the guano is being cleaned and mesh and gutter encasements are well underway to prevent any more pigeons from making this rather unsuitable structure their home.