Bird of prey flying at leisure centre to scare away pigeons

The hawk outside Willowburn Sports and Leisure Centre.
The hawk outside Willowburn Sports and Leisure Centre.

A hawk is being flown around Willowburn Sports and Leisure Centre, in Alnwick, to scare away nuisance pigeons.

A spokesman for Active Northumberland, which runs leisure centres in the county, said: “A hawk is currently being used to deter pigeons, which have been causing issues at the centre.

“A professional company has been hired to fly the hawk around at different times over a week to scare the birds off to find a new home.”

The use of the hawk has certainly surprised some Willowburn users.

One gym-goer, who did not want to be named, contacted the Gazette to say: “It looks like it’s been drafted in to frighten off the pigeons which are nesting above the entrance.

“The spikes on the parapets have had no effect whatsoever.

“I thought the hawk had been brought in to make sure we do our exercise programme – although it could never match gym manager Jackie for that!”

Meanwhile, another reader said: “As I was walking past the door of Willowburn, I noticed two gentlemen – one up a ladder and one carrying a large hawk on his wrist.

“I should think that they were there to kill the nuisance pigeons that have made the beams under the roof a nesting place.”

The Gazette asked how much the hawk was costing, but did not get an answer before going to press.