05:00PM, Thursday 24 May 2018
Leslie Bird, Lydia Fox and Denise French, neighbours in Blenheim Road.
A pigeon infestation has left an elderly couple afraid to use their own garden and has prompted health concerns.
The pigeons have nested in solar panels on Lydia and Frederick Fox’s roof in Blenheim Road, Pinkneys Green, leaving the patio, fence, bins and garden umbrella covered in droppings.
Eggs and chicks that have fallen from the nests also lie on the ground, but the couple have struggled to find anyone who will deal with the problem.
The pair have lived in the road for 49 years and kept their home 'immaculate’ but say they cannot go into their garden for fear of being covered in droppings.
Lydia, 81, said: “We can’t sit in our garden. The only time I go out is if my husband takes me out in the car – and that’s unacceptable if you have your own garden.”
Lydia, who is disabled, walks with a stick and has dressings on her leg ulcers changed once a week, is at her wits’ end.
“I shall go stir crazy if I have to wait in this house,” she said.
The solar panels that the birds are nesting in were installed about six years ago by housing association Housing Solutions to reduce heating costs.
Lydia said her neighbours Leslie Bird and Denise French also have the panels and are equally affected.
She believes the pigeons were displaced after a local pigeon fancier had his loft sealed.
The pigeons moved in at the start of the year. Since then Lydia has sought the aid of various organisations.
She said the Royal Borough has not taken any steps to help and added: “They said they were a protected species but what about us?”
She said she was told by an environmental health employee that ‘I don’t really know what to do about pigeons’ and a pest control company said it could not do anything because the panels belonged to the council.
Lydia said Housing Solutions suggested netting but she has seen no action.
She added the noise the birds create is also ‘unbelievable’ and their presence is affecting their health.
Scared that the pigeon droppings are contaminating the water tank in their roof, they are only using mouthwash to brush their teeth.
Lydia and Denise also have persistent chest infections and Frederick has an eye infection.
She also believes the situation has triggered one of Denise’s daughters to use an inhaler.
Lydia said: “Everybody can smell it; it’s just in the air. We’re breathing it in all the time.”
She added: “If we were to move out tomorrow, Housing Solutions would get rid of them for new residents.”
Housing Solutions and the Royal Borough were unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.
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