An affluent neighborhood in the southern region of England has deeply enraged the internet. A while ago, a series of photos of trees with spikes on them were posted on Twitter, which made everyone wonder why anyone would put these disturbing spikes on trees? Well apparently, it's all related to a very controversial topic: birds.
People don't really like birds, let's be honest. And it seems like the focus of most people's dislike is the wild, feral pigeon. These birds are so disruptive, that they're even deemed the "rats of the sky" due to being extremely filthy. They also carry an array of diseases, and make a mess wherever they park their feathery behinds. But the one thing people hate the most about pigeons is, you guessed it! Their poop!
Some superstitious folks believe that getting pooped on by a pigeon is a sign of good luck. But for the rest of the world, this heinous act is truly disgusting. Seriously, imagine that you're walking on your way to work when all of a sudden, a pesky little pigeon drops a poop bomb on your hair, or worse! On your suit! Now your whole day, (and your outfit) is ruined! But would you go as far as to force birds out of their natural habitat—the trees?
A British lady by the name of Anna Francis was making her way towards the Clifton neighborhood of Bristol when all of a sudden, she noticed there was something off about the trees. She looked closely and realized there were rows of white spikes sticking out from the branches. Dumbfounded by what she had encountered, she managed to snap a few pics to share with her friends. But she could've never imagined the social media storm those photos would create.
Anna didn't really know what those spikes were, or why they were placed on the trees. They weren't a natural occurrence or a strange mutation, oh no! These were man-made plastic spikes that have been in the market for a while now. You see, people's hatred over bird poop is so big, that soon enough, they figured a way to fix the problem. That's how the very controversial anti-bird spike came to be.
Anti-bird spikes usually get placed on the ledge of buildings, gutters, and even windowsills. They can pretty much go anywhere where pigeons might want to rest, which would inevitably end up deteriorating the area. Nowadays, you can even find these anti-bird spikes on Amazon. But whoever invented this security measures against poor innocent birds probably never imagined that people would use them to vanish birds from their natural habitat.
Anna's friend Jennifer Garrett went on to tweet about these horrific spikes people were putting on trees, and even went as far as to call them "our war on wildlife." Twitter blew up and people started retweeting her post over and over again until it became a trending topic. Then the local media and the Bristol post got a hold of the story and sent a reporter to investigate what was going on.
The Post discovered that these sadistic spikes were mostly installed on Essendene House and Heathfield House's front gardens. These high-end luxurious apartment buildings are located near the posh Bristol leisure area that is commonly known as The Downs. Luckily, an anonymous person allowed reporters to interview them, and they finally shed a light as to why neighbors were taking such extreme measures.
“The spikes are solely to protect the cars, there is no other reason,” the anonymous source told the Bristol Post. “There is a big problem with bird droppings around here. They can really make a mess of cars, and for some reason they do seem to congregate around this area.” The source was right about the trees being too close to a car park, but somehow, people had trouble feeling sympathy for the owners.
The luxurious cars that get parked in the posh Clifton neighborhood are mostly BMWs and Audis, which would led anyone to believe that someone who's rich enough to own such an exclusive car, would have the money to clean them daily or even get a car cover. Instead, the neighbors resorted to ban birds from being in their natural habitats. But the community is pretty pissed too.
Green Party Councillor Paula O’Rourke represents the Clifton district. After she was interviewed by the Post, she had something to say about this shameful situation, “It looks awful and it’s a shame to see trees being literally made uninhabitable to birds ― presumably for the sake of car parking.” People who opposed the use of spikes on trees tried to get O’Rourke to take measures, but they were left pretty disappointed.
O’Rourke commented, “I’m aware that the landowner might be legally within their rights to do this to the trees as they seem to be on private land." For the time being, it seems like the controversial spikes are not going anywhere. But perhaps, the birds will figure out a way to get back in the trees—something that has happened countless times when the locals have tried to keep them away.
"We did try other methods to scare off the birds," the anonymous source claimed. "I think we had a wooden bird of prey in the branches, but that didn't seem to do anything.” So it seems like these birds are not going anywhere. But some folks fear that this cruel measure will start catching on.
The anti-bird spikes in Clifton were placed on just two of the trees that are privately owned by the landowner. But Bristol environmentalists are afraid that other people might get inspired by this and start placing them anywhere, from private to public areas, to get rid of birds. Needless to say, this would deeply affect wildlife conservation efforts. Fortunately, the city's government rules are not going to let that happen.
The Bristol City Council is entitled to place something called, “tree preservation orders." They are able to fine anyone who attempts lopping, topping, felling, or cutting the roots of a tree. And the price to pay is a hefty one. Fines can go up to £20,000! The landowners still have the right to do as they please with their private trees, but the Council ensures that all public areas will remain safe for birds. Now we know bird poop can be a total nuisance. But it's simply a part of natural life, and protects the biodiversity of our cities.