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RATS - in the City Centre

A week ago i was crossing the corner opposite chinatown express/tyneside irish centre/rosies and what did i see on the street? 3 squashed rats, nicely flattened down into patties by car wheels!

talk about three blind mice....

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I've seen rats around there too. They were live ones like, but I think they seem to live somewhere near the West Walls, and come and feed on the ahem tastefully concealed, inconspicious bins
 

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the rats are particularly prominent at the back of Stowell Street, and also at the back of Westgate Road by the brewery site. There are rats all over the city, but are only obvious where there is a lot of food on offer, such as the Chinatown bins...
 

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One thing that I love about Newcastle though is some of our other resident rodents - the rabbits around the civic centre. I was stood within metres of about ten of them a couple of days ago. It's really nice that they can live quite happily surrounded by the roads and people.
 

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One thing that I love about Newcastle though is some of our other resident rodents - the rabbits around the civic centre. I was stood within metres of about ten of them a couple of days ago. It's really nice that they can live quite happily surrounded by the roads and people.
The oddest/unique place i have seen rabbits are on the Northumbria Uni/former Warners roundabout
 

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One thing that I love about Newcastle though is some of our other resident rodents - the rabbits around the civic centre. I was stood within metres of about ten of them a couple of days ago. It's really nice that they can live quite happily surrounded by the roads and people.
Yeah, I love the rabbits. They're often up by the University library too. In fact the other day I saw one scuttling past the Hancock pub.
 

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I haven't seen the netting, sounds awful. If there's a problem with the build quality of the arch I really can't see the council forking out to have it totally overhauled (to be fair they've paid out heavily for it already once). Maybe they're currently suing the people who made it?

As for the rabbits, I've seen them on that roundabout. It's amazing that you don't see them squashed - maybe they've just learnt to stay on the island? Either way they're a great little feature in the city, I just hope that they don't become seen as a pest and end up being "controlled". I'd rather have rabbits than flower beds any day.
 

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I've heard rumours the council are planning to genocide the bunnies around city hall :(
I don't know about the City Hall (didn't know there were any there!) but the City Council recently denied a long-standing rumour about a 'cull' of the rabbits in the grounds of the Civic Centre . . .

Newcastle City Council denies plot to kill rabbits
Mar 26 2010 by Lisa Hutchinson, Evening Chronicle

BUNNYGATE took a twist today as town hall officials insisted they never hatched a secret plot to cull a Civic Centre’s rabbit colony.

Hopping mad council bosses in Newcastle hit back following public outrage over our revelations they planned to get rid of the rabbits in the gardens of their Barrras Bridge HQ.

Civic centre staff were so concerned at the prospect they had started a petition against any such move.

And even the minister at the nearby St Thomas’ Church said she was saddened.

Rev Jean Skinner said: “I wouldn’t want them to go. It is quite nice having them around and seeing them scampering about the gardens.

“There are a lot of children and families who come around to see them.

“Especially for families living in the city it’s nice for them to see some of the countryside and wildlife here in the centre.

“I’ve only ever seen two or three at a once, depending what time of day it is.”

But today a council spokesman denied any plans to get rid of the rabbits and said: “The city council says the rabbits are not a problem and talk of extermination is an untrue rumour.

“It recognises the rabbits’ appeal and has pledged that no harm will come to them if any action is needed in future years.”

The rebuttal was in stark contrast to yesterday’s statement when the spokesman then said: “There are a number of rabbits living around the civic centre which cause some damage when they eat shrubs and burrow into the ground.

“However, we appreciate that they are popular among the public who visit the building and will consider very carefully any action required – if any.’’

Coun Tom Woodwark, who represents the area, backed the council and said he has heard no plans to cull the rabbits.

He said: “I realise it’s a really difficult time for the bunnies right now, what with Easter coming up, but I have heard of no such plans.

“My understanding of it is there is quiet a few people who like them being there and wildlife in the city is something that we should have.

“As far as I am aware it is just not going to happen. The bunnies are safe. They can twitch their whiskers once more.”
 

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Those rabbits better of survived, did I ever tell you guys that my offers to save them lead to an invitation to go on BBC Radio Newcastle?

Anyway I'm glad that area is going to be landscaped, will make it look far better and we need a few more city centre green areas, hopefully it will have a little pond or something similar aswell.
 

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There'll surely need to be some serious landscaping done to make any piece of land next to that road feel tranquil? Either way, Bobby Robson was a special guy and deserves some form of monument to him.

Whilst we're on the subject by the way, has anyone noticed that there doesn't seem to be that many rabbits around the Civic these days? I'm convinced that the cull went ahead...
there were plenty the other night
 

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I'll have to have a proper look the next time I'm there on the evening.

I doubt there'll be a pond though Chris, I doubt it'd be a good location for one. Either way some landscape designer is going to have a real challenge (but an interesting one I guess)
 

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Council in call to move birds from Tyne Bridge
by Adrian Pearson, Evening Chronicle, February 25th 2011


KITTIWAKES nesting in Newcastle are under threat from council chiefs fed up with their droppings.

The council and the city development company 1NG paid £5,000 to put together a report which warns the birds are putting off businesses and visitors, even though they have previously been placed on tourist trails.

The kittiwakes breeding underneath the Tyne Bridge are unique world-wide for their city centre nesting.

But planning bosses appear to have sided with consultants and are looking at options to move the birds.

Newcastle East MP Nick Brown added his voice to those questioning the council’s priorities.

“Nero was said to have fiddled while Rome burned, this is surely a modern-day example,” Mr Brown said.

“The council is in an extremely difficult financial position and yet it finds time to distract itself with this. It is typical of this council really.”

A Quayside regeneration study made for the city development company reads: “Our consultations have revealed growing concern about the environmental impact of kittiwake nesting sites including the Tyne Bridge and the Guildhall.

“The breeding kittiwake population has been in sharp decline, so the success over the past 10-15 years of Newcastle Gateshead’s urban colonies is a cause for celebration.

“However, in the spring and summer of 2010, it was clear that the mess and smell caused by the birds is simply not compatible with the aspiration to create an outstanding urban waterfront.


Read More - http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/north-east-news/evening-chronicle-news/2011/02/25/council-in-call-to-move-birds-from-tyne-bridge-72703-28235029/#ixzz1Ez8Gl9rA
 

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Council in call to move birds from Tyne Bridge
by Adrian Pearson, Evening Chronicle, February 25th 2011

KITTIWAKES nesting in Newcastle are under threat from council chiefs fed up with their mess.
Got to agree that the pavements underneath the Tyne Bridge are a mess with the guano, slippery, smelly and you should put your umberella up before you walk under it. However it had been like that for years so I can see where Nick Brown is coming from when he comments about "bigger and better things" for NCC to worry about.

If the nesting platform on the Gateshead side is such a success, then why not put up another one or two and then put up nets on the under structure of the bridge to prevent the Kittiwakes landing. Seems to me that net prevention has worked at other buildings on the Quayside. Common sense and would have saved 5k on report ;-)
 

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Council in call to move birds from Tyne Bridge
by Adrian Pearson, Evening Chronicle, February 25th 2011

KITTIWAKES nesting in Newcastle are under threat from council chiefs fed up with their droppings.
I see that Planning Applications have been submitted in respect of the GUILDHALL for the removal of existing 'anti bird spikes' and the installation of netting.

2011/0279/01/LBC
2011/0278/01/GRA

So it looks like the Kittiwakes days are numbered on the Newcastle side of the Tyne but not so on the Gateshead side. There was a piece in the Newcastle Evening Chronicle the other night about BALTIC gearing themselves up with web cams for the anticipated nesting in the next few weeks.
 

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I'd imagine there'd be some enivronmentalists objecting to the plan

Newcastle has one of the few urban populations of kittiwakes in the world!

And what helps put Newcastle on top of the Sustainable City awards? (aside our legion of unused electric points)

http://www.sustainablescotland.com/index.php/Communities-News/sustainable-cities-index-edinburgh-glasgow-hell-hull.html
If you look at some of the photo's that accompany the Application you can imagine the stench that the nesting must create and folk are working in the Guildhall - so what with the smell and constant racket I can fully understand why they want rid - One question that I have is will the work take place before nesting for the forthcoming season as it won't be 'nice' to see eggs or chicks being destroyed?
 

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If you look at some of the photo's that accompany the Application you can imagine the stench that the nesting must create and folk are working in the Guildhall - so what with the smell and constant racket I can fully understand why they want rid - One question that I have is will the work take place before nesting for the forthcoming season as it won't be 'nice' to see eggs or chicks being destroyed?
There are references in some of the planning documents to Rentokill (sic) 'dispatching' birds that can't be humanly (sic) removed and to the removal of eggs and nests so yes, that unfortunately sounds like the plan. Shame on them. (Also, shame on someone for the poor level of English).

Interesting that the same website you quoted above have now done a follow up:

http://www.sustainablescotland.com/index.php/Communities-News/sustainable-scotland-newcastle-britains-cities-kittiiwake.html

Personally I love seeing the Kittiwakes. I hope they will think about this one and try and find a better solution.
 

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Backing the bird colony living life on the ledge
by Tony Henderson, The Journal, March 5th 2011

Dr John Coulson, who has researched kittiwakes for 50 years

Should they stay or should they go? Environment Editor Tony Henderson talks to the North’s kittiwake expert. For decades Dr John Coulson has kept a log on the Tyne of the behaviour of the rivers’s nesting kittiwakes. Having studied the Tyne’s kittiwakes for 58 years, he is in a prime position to deliver a verdict on the current controversy over proposals to move the nesting birds from the Tyne Bridge.

Newcastle City Council and the city development company 1NG paid £5,000 to put together a report that claims the birds are putting off businesses and visitors.

A Quayside regeneration study made for the city development company reads: “Our consultations have revealed growing concern about the environmental impact of kittiwake nesting sites including the Tyne Bridge and the Guildhall.

“In the spring and summer of 2010, it was clear that the mess and smell caused by the birds is simply not compatible with the aspiration to create an outstanding urban waterfront.“ It calls for “creative thinking” to encourage the kittiwakes to move to a less sensitive site.

There have been counter claims that the birds are themselves a visitor attraction and are a world-first for Newcastle and Gateshead as the Tyne is the most inland nesting colony of kittiwakes in the world. Its nearest competitor is a colony on cliffs a mile inland in Greenland.

Dr Coulson, author of a book on kittiwakes that will be published later this year, was a reader in ecology at Durham University. He warns that moving the birds from the Tyne Bridge is likely to merely transfer what is a perceived problem to other buildings nearby.

If the birds are shifted, he suggests the building of an artificial, ledged riverside nesting “cliff” cantilevered over the river to solve the problem of bird droppings.

With the addition of a hide and observation platform, the cliff could double as an educational resource for school parties and a visitor draw.


Read More - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-east-news/todays-news/2011/03/05/backing-the-bird-colony-living-life-on-the-ledge-61634-28282696/#ixzz1FiR9xPof
 

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Backing the bird colony living life on the ledge
by Tony Henderson, The Journal, March 5th 2011


Should they stay or should they go? Environment Editor Tony Henderson talks to the North’s kittiwake expert.
Reminds me of the terrible problems that the City had with pigeons back in the day - I for one can remember the state of the Central Station Portico that was caused by the nesting pigeons. No such problems these days by the look of it in Newcastle? - Also used to be a lot of pigeons in Old Eldon Square.
 

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Backing the bird colony living life on the ledge
by Tony Henderson, The Journal, March 5th 2011

Should they stay or should they go? Environment Editor Tony Henderson talks to the North’s kittiwake expert.

If the birds are shifted, he suggests the building of an artificial, ledged riverside nesting “cliff” cantilevered over the river to solve the problem of bird droppings.

With the addition of a hide and observation platform, the cliff could double as an educational resource for school parties and a visitor draw.


Read More - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-east-news/todays-news/2011/03/05/backing-the-bird-colony-living-life-on-the-ledge-61634-28282696/#ixzz1FiR9xPof

The above idea sounds a very good one to me, we could turn "a problem" into an advantage with this!
 
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