Saturday, April 21, 2007

Of towers and falcons

Latest development in the Tinsley towers saga - reports of protected peregrine falcons nesting on the concrete structures. The Sheffield Star reports:
The birds could also be a saviour for the controversial cooling towers which are due to be demolished later this year.
[RSPB spokesman Margaret Overend] said: "While the nest is in use – when it is being built or being used by the birds – the demolition could not take place.
"The protection clause states that you cannot damage a nest or nesting site and the offence carries a very heavy penalty.
"However, once nesting season is over and the birds have moved on there is nothing to stop the demolition going ahead."
An E.ON spokesman said: "We sent steeplejacks up to inspect the top of both cooling towers late last year and found no evidence of the birds nesting there."

Shades of a similar situation here in Halifax last year, when restoration work on the church spire overlooking the Piece Hall was put on hold after suspected peregrines were seen nesting there. They turned out to be non-protected kestrels, but falcons have again been seen there (BBC Look North report here). One suspects they can't be that rare after all...



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