Home news Criticism at Winchester fire station tree-felling

Criticism at Winchester fire station tree-felling


Conservationists have criticised the decision to cut down trees outside a fire station, after firefighters judged bird droppings to be a health hazard.The row of about 25 conifer trees was cut down outside Winnall fire station in Winchester.Local resident Sophie Boxall said she was “tearful with frustration”.Hampshire Fire and Rescue (HFRS) said starlings in the trees were leaving a “significant amount of bird excrement” on its vehicles.She said murmurations of starlings were a common sight above the trees in which the birds were roosting.”I felt so helpless – it’s just so wrong to just destroy a safe haven for these birds and not think of the consequences,” she said.Martin de Retuerto of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust said the move was “disappointing”.”The sudden displacement of that roost site could potentially put pressure on them in the middle of winter when food is already scarce and they need that rest on cold winter evenings.”We don’t want decision-makers and authorities to view wildlife as a problem that’s there to be managed without recognising the huge benefits of wildlife, particularly in urban areas, brings to local people.”

HFRS said the starlings’ excrement had caused “a number of operational health and safety concerns”.”Droppings were being spread into buildings and vehicles.”HFRS sought advice and a number of options were considered but ultimately the decision was made to cut the trees.”Hampshire County Council said it had advised the fire service that felling the trees was “most effective solution”, adding that the trees were not protected and the work took place outside the nesting season.
Source: BBC Hampshire