A woman has been fined £75 after she was caught feeding pigeons in Daventry town centre.
Daventry District Council (DDC) say the lady was seen pushing a trolley from which she produced handfuls of bird nuts to throw to the pigeons that had gathered around her in Bowen Square.
When a DDC enforcement officer approached the lady, she told him she knew it was an offence. And when it emerged she had previously received a warning from the council for doing the same thing, the officer issued a fixed penalty notice, which the lady accepted and paid.
DDC has been tackling concerns in recent years over the growing number of pigeons creating a mess in the town centre. As well as looking unsightly, bird droppings carry disease and can erode stonework on buildings as well as blocking gutters.
Birds of prey were introduced in October last year to scare the pigeons away, and while this had some success, pigeon numbers remain an issue.
Signs warning people not to feed the birds in the town centre were initially put up in 2014.
The council has recently put up new signs in problem areas such as Bowen Square and Foundry Place, warning people not to feed the pigeons.
A public awareness campaign reminding people of the hazards that feeding pigeons can cause is also set to be launched in the New Year.
Councillor Mike Warren, health and housing portfolio holder on Daventry District Council, said: “The pigeons in the town centre are a pest whose faeces damage buildings, cause an unsightly mess, spread disease and attract rodents.
“People who feed the pigeons may not think they are doing any harm, but by providing them with a food source, they are encouraging more to flock to our town centre. Only by denying them that food source will we see a serious reduction in numbers.
“That’s why we are asking for the support of our residents in this – please, do not feed the pigeons. Enforcement action is always a last resort, but this fine should serve as a warning to others that we will not hesitate to take action if we witness people feeding pigeons in the town centre.”