Elderly couple told to stop feeding the birds

PUBLISHED: 17:03 30 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:15 06 May 2010

Brian Crisp with the bird table and the letter from the council

Brian Crisp with the bird table and the letter from the council

AN ELDERLY couple say St Albans District Council has asked them to stop feeding the birds in their garden and get rid of their bird table. Bird-lovers Brian and Sylvia Crisp of Caledon Road, London Colney, said they had been sent letters asking them to r

AN ELDERLY couple say St Albans District Council has asked them to stop feeding the birds in their garden and get rid of their bird table.

Bird-lovers Brian and Sylvia Crisp of Caledon Road, London Colney, said they had been sent letters asking them to refrain from feeding the birds.

Sylvia, aged 66, whose mobility is severely restricted by multiple sclerosis, said: "My husband Brian had to have a quintuple bypass last year and we both love watching the birds in the garden."

Their daughter Beverly, who lives in Bluett Road, London Colney, admitted her parents, who live in a council property, had in the past been "excessive" in their bird-feeding habits. They used to leave out troughs of bird seed but had stopped in November 2006 after a letter from the council.

She added: "Since then they have confined themselves to a bird table and a couple of seed feeders. It seems a bit harsh that they must stop altogether."

Sylvia said they had received several anonymous poison pen letters - now in the hands of the police - which they felt were linked to the complaints made about them to the council.

A district council spokesperson said letters asking tenants to stop feeding the birds had been sent to all neighbours in the block 102 -108 Caledon Road.

He said: "Neighbours were concerned that they were unable to hang out washing or use their gardens due to the presence of birds and their associated waste.

He added that staff had visited the Crisps recently and found a marked improvement in the problem compared to the previous year.

He said: "The number of bird feeding tables and devices had been rationalised and this time there were only half-a-dozen birds around."

Staff had reviewed the tenancy agreement and found there was no apparent breach of tenancy as the Crisps had addressed the problem and therefore have suggested mediation as a way forward. Pending a solution arising from mediation, the council have asked people in the vicinity to hold off feeding the birds.

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