I WAS very disappointed and saddened by the intolerance and lack of sensitivity clearly displayed by contributors to the article in last week’s Journal by Annie Riddle, proposing a cull etc. on the city’s pigeon population.

I have lived and worked in the city for almost 40 years amongst the pigeon population and have always found them to be a positive addition to the city. I walk regularly under Fisherton railway bridge and stop beneath it to admire the tenacity of the pigeons roosting as they have for many years.

I have never seen or heard of anyone being upset by them and certainly never catching any disease from them.

I regularly stand and watch the great pleasure on the faces of visitors and locals of all ages, particularly children, in the Maltings watching and sometimes feeding the pigeons, and have always felt how well they contribute to a good feeling for the city.

We seem to get this outcry against the wild bird population around this time every year and the number of pigeons in town now is very little changed from many years ago. Wild birds in city centres are generally self-regulating in their population, despite our arrogant beliefs they do not need our constant interference.

If the words attributed to Cllr Margaret Willmot are correct, I find her views glorifying the pigeons being torn to pieces by the cathedral peregrine falcons unbelievably insensitive.

Please let us see a little respect, tolerance and sensitivity towards the wildlife in our city.

Coots have already almost disappeared from our city rivers this year and please don’t anyone suggest a cull on the ducks next.

Garry Alexander,


  I READ Annie Riddle's article about pigeons with interest, particularly the perceived unsuitability of hunting parties going round the shops picking said birds off one by one.

You may be interested to know that when I was a young 19-year-old police officer on nights in Salisbury in the mid 1960s that was the very method used.

On a fairly regular basis an individual armed with an air rifle would go round quietly dispatching such birds that were unwise or unfortunate enough to poke their heads out from wherever they were roosting!

My wife, who was also in the constabulary, has reminded me that when daylight dawned the occasional pile of feathers was visible on the pavement, but all other traces had been removed.

Andy Bell,