Explosive bird scarers ruffle neighbours' feathers

PUBLISHED: 19:29 11 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:01 06 May 2010

EXPLOSIVE bird-scaring devices used on a farm have been criticised for causing a noise nuisance. John Stocker, of Nomansland in Wheathampstead, said the devices at Hill Top Farm were detonating at firework intensity between every 10 and 30 minutes through

EXPLOSIVE bird-scaring devices used on a farm have been criticised for causing a noise nuisance.

John Stocker, of Nomansland in Wheathampstead, said the devices at Hill Top Farm were detonating at firework intensity between every 10 and 30 minutes throughout the day.

He said that the loud noises there and at another local farm were causing a nuisance to both users of Nomansland Common and the surrounding residents, including the elderly people at the Tara's Retreat care home in Sandridge.

Mr Stocker claimed that he was often awakened before 7am by the devices which he said have only been in use since the start of this year.

In January he complained to St Albans District Council about the noise, which he believes contravenes National Farmers Union (NFU) guidelines, but he doesn't think there has been an improvement since then.

He said: "You have got to be sympathetic to the farmers as they do have a bird problem but at the same time there is an NFU code of practice which says you should try to mitigate noise."

Following his complaint to the council, an environmental health officer visited the site and agreed there was a noise nuisance but decided to work with the farmer to address the problem rather than take any formal action.

Wheathampstead district councillor, Judy Shardlow, said: "The environmental health team are aware of the problem and have been working with the farmer at Hill Top Farm to try to resolve the problem to suit everybody, and they will continue to do so."

A spokesperson for the district council said that the complaint was being progressed informally as the farmer was amenable to making changes.

But she emphasised that if there wasn't a positive outcome then the council could issue a nuisance notice and take formal proceedings.


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