This issue has been on-going for over a decade and the Committee has actively investigated all options. A cull by shooting has been the main suggestion and a number of people have been mentioned to do this. However the right weapon and linked licence has been a limiting consideration as well as right time and location.

With people on or around the site including , sometimes we suspect, rough sleepers or other wanderers, even at daybreak, there are serious safety issues not least due to the risk of ricocheting bullets. There are also houses, footpaths and a reservoir nearby. Our Secretary, Jak, has contacted the police twice lately who advise against the use of weapons due to these boundary issues and risks. Any cull would in any case produce a vacuum which would most probably be quickly filled.

Another suggestion was poisoning which nobody felt was acceptable. The council could only recommend fencing of a minimum 1.5 metres height. We did in fact have a feasibility survey done by our regular contractor a couple of years ago but the cost was prohibitive and the logistics very difficult as there is no straight line on or near the river bank and many sheds and green houses along the Leam Terrace wall. In addition there are other points of entry.

So we can only recommend protective measures. For most  people, though not all, temporary barriers, if well staked or supported seem to be effective in protecting the crops that are at risk. Many crops don't need this, some do but only sections of a plot need to barriered as we do for pigeon attacks from above. To help, our shop has very cheap barrier netting available by the metre.

Clearance of overgrown areas which provide shelter would also help. We appreciate that this may not satisfy all but it's a problem we've discussed frequently before coming to this conclusion. If anyone would like to visit plots that seem to have overcome the problem, mostly on areas D, E and F, please get in touch.

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