Pigeons drop a big problem on High Street

Reverend John Mitchell outside his Bonnyrigg Parish Church  which has been plagued by pigeon droppings.
Reverend John Mitchell outside his Bonnyrigg Parish Church which has been plagued by pigeon droppings.

A recent increase in pigeon droppings on Bonnyrigg High Street has raised safety fears and left a church £2000 out of pocket.

Bonnyrigg Parish Church had already spent £400 earlier in the summer tackling the problem and, by the end of work being undetaken, will have spent around £2000 on having spikes fitted on the roof and spire to stop pigeons making a mess on the 170-year-old building.

The Rev. John Mitchell has been at the church for 25 years and said he has “never seen anything like this before”.

He added: “For the last nine months we have had an absolute mess at the church.

“They are resting on the church area, particularly the steeple, and the droppings are all over the pavement.

“The droppings have an acid in them that starts to corrode buildings so that’s why we have to make moves to stop this.

“When it’s wet the droppings just become mud, it’s literally a skating rink.

“We did approach the council about six months ago to see if there were any small grants available for us to spike the church building. It did its best but we heard nothing back so we have had to cough up the money for it.

“We don’t want the mess – and the smell that comes with it – dragged into the church.”

Mr Mitchell revealed that the church was not the only building affected.

He said: “The town centre has been swamped by pigeons in the last year. There seems to be more and more appearing.

“I think other shop owners near the toll are angry too.

“It’s not their job to clean the pavement to stop it being dragged into their shops. It’s obviously a council problem.

“We are all at a loss as to who should be cleaning what area but we shouldn’t be cleaning public highways.”

A Midlothian Council spokesman said: “We are aware of the situation at Bonnyrigg High Street and the area will be cleaned.

“But unlike dog fouling or littering, there is no legislation in place concerning pigeon fouling, thus it is not the council’s responsibility to clean the mess.

“Nevertheless we understand the frustrations of the shop owners and Bonnyrigg Parish Church concerning the on-going situation.”