Feathers fly over roadworks in Montgomery

Reporter:

Owain Farrington

A DISGUSTED resident has blasted Powys Council (PCC) workers for starting roadworks beneath nesting peregrine falcons in Montgomery.

Clinton Small, of Rock Cottages, Station Road, said he had warned the Powys engineer that there were nesting falcons, with three female chicks, when he saw the engineer placing markings in the road the previous week.

“I was shocked and disgusted when workmen turned up and started digging up the road this morning,” said Mr Small, who has lived at Rock Cottages for the past 20 years.

“Falcons are afforded the highest protection when nesting, I can’t believe they would start work so close to them.

“I rang the RSPB and they told me to call the police which I did.”

Despite Mr Small’s complaint, PCC has said it contacted Natural Resources Wales and carried out the relevant ecology work.

PCC head of highways, Nigel Brinn said: “Details of the work were discussed by the council’s ecology officer with Natural Resources Wales’ species team and there were no concerns provided the work did not take place for an extended period.

“The birds have been returning to their nest and have shown no signs of being disturbed by the work.”

Mr Small said that the police told workmen to stop, but by then there was a trench in the road and traffic lights.

“I don’t know how long we’re going to be left like this as the chicks are 14 days old and normally fledge at 35 days,” he added.

In response to Mr Small, Mr Brinn added: “The council has been carrying out routine road repair work in Station Road, Montgomery. The work, which included cutting out material and resurfacing, was in the main carriageway and well away from the nesting falcons which have a nest on a cliff face near the castle.

“The council carried out the planning work on Friday with surfacing work scheduled to take place on Monday, unfortunately the work was disrupted by a local resident and had to be completed on Tuesday.”

Peregrines are regarded as the fastest moving member of the animal kingdom with the fastest recorded swoop of the falcon standing at 242mph.

See full story in the County Times

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