A leading city councillor is calling on people not to feed pigeons or seagulls amid concerns that their numbers in Canterbury are rising.
Residents complain that bird droppings are ruining the look of buildings and in some cases even damaging them.
Wincheap councillor Nick Eden-Green wants people to play their part in limiting pigeon and seagull numbers by not giving them food.
He told a council meeting last night (Monday): “I would like the council to do something to discourage people from feeding them.
“And let’s face it, when people leave food on the ground they are also leaving it out for foxes and rats.”
Cllr Eden-Green said signs could be erected warning people against feeding birds.
He added: “I admit that such a thing is difficult to enforce, but these are the rats of the sky and the city does have a serious problem with them.”
Several prominent buildings have been plagued by pigeon droppings in recent years, including the former Slatter’s Hotel and Ha! Ha! bar in St Margaret’s Street.
Since falling into disuse, they have been propped up by girders which attract birds.
Many buildings in Canterbury now feature anti-pigeon measures such as plastic spikes to prevent birds nesting on them.
Cllr Eden-Green’s comments came at a meeting of the council’s Canterbury Area Member Panel in the Guildhall.
A report before the committee stated: “The pigeon population is increasing and complaints have been received from residents regarding damage to structures.
“Councillors have discussed the issue and feel that seagulls are also a problem, particularly when fed by residents.”
The Canterbury Area Member Panel is recommending that the council’s Community Committee consider introducing a ban on the feeding of pigeons and seagulls.
It is also due to investigate the issue of pigeon droppings and their effect on the urban environment. The Community Committee is due to meet next on Wednesday, March 21.