McDonald’s in Ulverston ‘could trap the birds’ with new net and spike scheme

Plans have been tabled to install bird netting at a new fast food restaurant in a town in the southern lakes have been submitted to the district council.

The £16,300 works at McDonald’s in Ulverston would also see spikes installed along ledges and signage. The scheme has drawn criticism from the boss of a southern Cumbrian bird sanctuary.

“Birds impale themselves on spikes,” said Elisabeth Ashleigh, who runs the Bardsea Bird Sanctuary with her daughter Tamsin. “No matter what kind of mesh they use, they get their feet stuck.”

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A report submitted by Ecolab says the silver insulation of machinery on the site’s roof will be attractive to birds such as crows and magpies. He says that without preventative measures the birds will cause damage ‘resulting in thousands of pounds of long-term repairs’.

The report says the Oubas Hill restaurant, which opened last month, will become a nesting place for scavenger birds – such as gulls and pigeons – attracted to discarded food. The accumulation of “bird-related debris”, he says, would lead to insect infestations, the spread of disease, damage to the building and “risk of litigation with a third party if a member of staff suffers an injury due to the slippery soiling of poisonous birds”.

Netting would therefore be attached to the roof and upper ledges of the building to prevent birds from roosting and roosting. The Ecolab report says a site survey revealed the presence of swallows.

It recommends that the waste area “be protected against any entry of this species”. He says swallows are “heavily protected and therefore a smaller [19mm] a gauge net would be used at this level”. A total of 250m of spikes would be installed along the lower ledges and signage of the new restaurant to prevent birds from roosting.

But Ms Ashleigh felt the birds should not be deterred from the building.

“These are the people who leave trash everywhere, who don’t put their trash in the bin properly, they are the ones who need to be educated,” she said. Birds do not pose a threat.

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