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Scarecrow Compact & Hawk Kite Save NHS Tens of Thousands 15/05/2014

Bristol Soutmead Hospital's new 438 million Brunel building has been plagued by Herring Gulls and Black Backed gulls causing in excess of 350k of damage to the building's structural glazed atrium roof.
In a master-stroke by the building's designers, a glazed atrium roof was specified along with a pebble soak away system close-by on the unglazed areas of the roof.

The mating seagulls are highly territorial during the spring and summer months and upon seeing their reflection in the glazed roof, which spans several acres, 7-9 storeys up in the air, they feel compelled to attack their own image, thinking it is a competitive gull encroaching on their patch. In order to attack their reflection the gulls were picking up the 20mm pebbles from the soak away and dropping them on to the glass roof, shattering the panels. The specialist panels are all different sizes and are unique to the building, they are custom-made in Spain and can take as long as two months to manufacture and ship to the UK and be replaced.

At an estimated cost of over 29k for every 5 panels broken Carillion, the building contractor left with the responsibility for arresting the destruction, were at their wits end as approximately 61 panels had been destroyed by the beginning of April 2014. That is when they approached PestFix for expert help and advice on how to halt the damage.

Dan England the company's expert Bird Control Consultant raced to site and instantly specified a combination of Bio-Acoustic Bird Dispersal and Visual Deterrents in the form of a series of Scarecrow Compacts and Hawk Kites to immediately halt the problem. Due to their clever design and ease of use the systems were up and running within 24 hours.

Following the installation of the two systems, working in tandem they halted the destruction of the roof instantly. Carillion, the contractor responsible for building and maintaining the Brunel building, have reported no further breakages since the systems went live on 12th April.

Dan England said: "The seagulls react very well to hearing their own distress call being played back digitally to them through the Scarecrow systems. When they hear their distress call they instantly go on the defensive and get aloft, away from ground predators such as Man and Foxes, they circle around looking for the fellow gull in distress with the intention of mobbing the predator in great numbers to drive it away. When they cannot find the predator because the sound is coming from a speaker, they become unnerved at not knowing where the threat is coming from. The gulls start to increase their altitude and eventually disperse away from the area all together. To prevent habituation to continually hearing the sounds specialist self-launching kites are employed on their building's high points. These kites weave around constantly above 7 metre tall carbon fibre masts providing a realistic and menacing silhouette of a bird of prey, a natural predator to gulls, under which the pest birds will not fly for fear of attack." He also commented:"Architects need to learn more about urban bird control issues and how to avoid building-in features on projects that can cause problems with wildlife"

A more permanent solution is being sought that will prevent the pebbles being picked up by the birds, but in the meantime the 4 X Scarecrow Compact Master & Slave systems along with the 7 X Hawk Kites are standing watch over the Brunel building day and night saving the project tens of thousands of pounds.

For further information on this news article or the products herein please call us on +44(0)1903 538 488


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