Peregrine falcon nest to be installed on Bradford chimney

Peregrine falcon
Peregrine falcons will be soon be able to be viewed on specially-installed CCTV cameras

A peregrine falcon nest will be installed on a chimney despite objections from pigeon fanciers that their birds may become prey.

Plans for the nest, on Lister Mill in Manningham, Bradford, were approved by the council who said there would be "no shortage" of feral pigeons to feed on.

The Bradford Peregrine Trail Project wants to make urban areas "more hospitable" to the birds of prey.

Their application was backed by Chris Packham, Natural England and the RSPB.

The Bradford City of Culture Team was involved.

More than 800 people commented on the plans - which include a CCTV camera that will allow Bradford residents to view any nesting falcons.

According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS), the team behind the application hopes the work will not only help Bradford's peregrine falcon population increase, but also give people in inner city areas a better link to nature.

It is one of several nests planned for the Bradford District.

The application prompted one of the biggest responses to a planning application in recent years, with over 870 people writing to the council to have their say.

Of those, 408 people supported the application, saying it would be a big boost to Bradford's wildlife - but 467 people objected, with the main concern being the impact an influx of peregrine falcons would have on the local bird population, and in particular pigeons used for racing.

An officer visited the mill site and said there were "no shortage" of feral pigeons in and around the Manningham area.

The report said: "There is certainly no shortage of prey that are not garden 'song birds' and are not racing pigeons.

"Predator prey relationships are usually beneficial for the prey species as it removes older, weaker and diseased birds."

Planning officers added: "The information provided states that the majority of prey of peregrines is made up of feral pigeons and collared doves.

"There are large numbers of feral pigeons within the immediate area of the host site as seen on the site visit undertaken by the officer, with no shortage of prey within the area the impact on local 'song birds' as raised by many objectors, is thought to be negligible."

Dr Rachel Palfrey, Senior Adviser for the Bradford and South Pennines Nature Recovery Project said: "Natural England are delighted to be working with the Bradford Peregrines group, Bradford Urban Wildlife Group and Bradford City of Culture Team to install nesting boxes for Peregrine Falcons in the city.

"The Bradford Peregrine Trail will help bring nature into the heart of Bradford, allowing people to explore and connect with the historical and natural heritage of the city."

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