Rats remember

I rather think I am the person referred to in Mrs Rodell’s allegation as the “man waving his finger and swearing at me” as she was leaving nuts and food in the Market Square among others for the pigeons (“Why should I not feed the birds? – Rose speaks out”, Herald, August 16).

I understand other people have felt it necessary to speak to her, people who have been in Sidmouth longer than me (55 years).

I have seen rats on several occasions making their way across Market Square, at dead of night, to the area where the food is left.

Lately, there has been an effort to clean up the spot but rats have memories.

I tried to explain that homing pigeons are not helped by encouraging them to stay and breed. Be that as it may, but unless the adjectives ‘deluded’ and ‘mistaken’ and ‘stupid’ have been reclassified as swear words, I did NOT swear at Mrs Rodell.

She is obviously a lady of very firm convictions and beliefs. I have told her that I have moved large amounts of detritus from my property, and next door, from gulls’ nests which have blocked drainage and caused damage.

Gull eggs have been also removed, plus maggot-ridden corpses of abandoned chicks. I have moved pigeon eggs from my home as other people have done.

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Mrs Rodell loudly told me: “I’m going to report you.”

I understand it is not an offence to remove nests or eggs. As regards gulls being run over, I have driven in Sidmouth for very many years. I have driven carefully and slowly.

In Fore Street, recently, at 10mph, a young gull appeared directly in front of me, possibly five feet. Had I swerved I could have collided with a lady with a pram. Had I braked a young boy on a cycle, no more than three feet behind, would have definitely hit my rear. I did neither and the gull was run over. This, and other instances, was not a deliberate action

Gulls and pigeons are a problem. More could, and should, be done to alleviate this.

Colin Healey

King’s Lane