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Pensioner ‘absolutely disgusted’ amid battle with nesting pigeons

A despairing grandmother is disgusted with troublesome pigeons who’ve nested on her roof and constantly poo in her garden.

Elizabeth Walker, 75, who lives on a new-build estate with husband Harry, 82, is furious the birds are still on the roof of her housing association-owned property – despite calling out for help getting rid of them. 

Speaking to Teesside Live, the grandma of eight said her garden is “absolutely disgusting”, describing how rain makes the pigeon droppings turn to “slime and slop.” She’s also concerned about the potential health risks and germs as hubby Harry is poorly and has recently been in hospital with infections.

A spokesperson for the housing association, Thirteen, apologised for the delay and confirmed work installing a netting is expected to be completed at the Middlesbrough property by the middle of March.

Elizabeth, who moved into the home around seven years ago, said: “They put solar panels in after we had been in a few years, which we said yes fine. In the last year and a half, pigeons have decided to live under the solar panel. I’m in a ground-floor flat and the lad upstairs above me, he gets the noise of them all night of them cooing and clicking walking along the roof.

“He can hear them on the ceiling in the bedroom. I just get all the poo off them and my back garden is absolutely disgusting. Last year we rung and rung and rung – we have rung for the last 16 months. They come and put a wire cage under them so the pigeons can’t get in. There was me and my neighbour opposite me and we both had the same problem. They put hers up, hers was up three months, and they have only done one part of it.”

Elizabeth said scaffolding was put up at the beginning of December with hopes to fix the issue – however, Thirteen said a mistake in the materials being ordered and parts not being available meant the scaffolding then had to be taken down.

She continued: “Just before Christmas they came and took the scaffolding down with no job done because it wasn’t insured over Christmas. I’ve rang every week and the date they have given me is towards the end of April.”

Garden full of ‘slime and slop’

Elizabeth said that while she is waiting for work to be carried out, she is left having to “suffer all of this.” She explained: “I’ve got stones down in a corner where I do a decorative garden and I’m going to have to get rid of all of them. I’m going to have to dig all my grass up because it is all in my grass, and I can’t let my grandkids go out there and play on the grass.

“It is rock hard when the weather is dry, so if you walk on it is like walking on heavy stones. When it rains, it turns to slime and slop, and trying to get it up if it is raining… honest to God, it makes you bork.”

The couple is even hoping to get a puppy by the end of the year – but are concerned about it as they are worried the pigeon pool could cause her harm.

Elizabeth is also worried about Harry’s health, adding: “I’m sick to death. I’ve told them my husband is poorly, he has got COPD and has just come out of hospital, he went in with eight infections and he has got bad legs, cellulitis.”

She said that she needs to find someone that can come and give her a hand with sorting her garden as a result. She said: “All my kids are working full-time. I’m 75, my husband is 82, and I can’t do it all on my own. I’m going to have to replace all my grass and replace all my stones. It’s going to cost me – which I can’t really afford because we are pensioners.

“I was thinking there might be someone out there that would say I’m not working I’ll come and give you a hand. I could give a couple of pounds to but I can’t pay for workmen to come and do it because it’ll be too expensive!”

Thirteen customer wellbeing is ‘absolute priority’

Thirteen’s executive director of customer services, David Ripley, said: “We want customers to feel safe and comfortable in their homes. We’re very sorry Mrs Walker is experiencing this issue, and we are working hard to resolve it as quickly as possible.

“Following reports of pigeons nesting underneath the solar panels on Mrs Walker’s home last year, we measured up ahead of plans to install netting which stops the birds nesting, and we erected scaffolding ready to carry out the work. Unfortunately, due to a mistake in the materials being ordered and then parts not being available, the scaffolding was removed until they were finally due to arrive. I can only apologise to Mr and Mrs Walker for this.

“We expect to complete the work by the middle of March as we have worked closely with the supplier and the scaffolding contractor to provide Mrs Walker with the earliest available appointment. The well-being of our customers is our absolute priority, and once again, we’d like to apologise to Mr and Mrs Walker for the delay.”

After hearing that Thirteen would be visiting the property, Elizabeth said she was “pleased that they are finally going to come.”

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