Crying fowl at noisy birds

Feathers fly: Maurice Dainty, of Oakenclough Road, near Scorton, rounds up his flock of guinea fowl, which have been the subject of complaints over noise. The Daintys have been issued with a noise abatement notice
Feathers fly: Maurice Dainty, of Oakenclough Road, near Scorton, rounds up his flock of guinea fowl, which have been the subject of complaints over noise. The Daintys have been issued with a noise abatement notice
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Noisy birds have ruffled the feathers of their neighbours, leaving their owners facing a fine of up to £5,000.

Bemused bird owners Maurice and Phyllis Dainty have been issued with a Noise Abatement Notice by Wyre Council over their 34 birds, which are accused of shattering the peace in the Scorton countryside.

They have now been given 21 days to make arrangements to remove or relocate their flock – or face a possible fine of up to £5,000.

The couple, of Cross Hill Smithy on Oakenclough Road, have been warned the case could be taken to the High Court if necessary to secure “the abatement, prohibition or restriction of the nuisance”.

The pair say they have kept the fowl, along with ducks, hens and other livestock, for 15 years on the 1.5 acre plot without any complaint from previous neighbours.

Maurice said: “Everyone thinks it’s a joke. It’s got past the joking stage. I’m 69 and Phyllis is 71 – we’ve never had anything like it in our lives. We are not going to part with them.”

Phyllis added: “It’s just ridiculous.”

Rebecca Cavies, of Wyre Council’s environmental protection service, wrote to the householders stating: “Evidence gathered during our investigations has established the existence of a ‘statutory nuisance’ due to noise from guinea fowl.”

The council has advised them to increase the distance between the guinea fowl and the neighbouring property, or relocate them away from the properties.

Planning consultant and family friend Mel Lawrenson said: “There is a clay pigeon shoot in the next field and they are less than a mile away from the motorway and there are cows and sheep all around.

“They are a registered smallholding – they are allowed to keep these things.”

The abatement notice was dated October 1, and the family has 21 days to appeal to the magistrates court.

The Daintys’ next door neighbours, Helen and Richard Leach, whose property The Old Forge backs on to the Dainty’s smallholding, who complained about the guinea fowl, declined to comment.

A spokeswoman for Wyre Council said: “The council is currently investigating a case of noise nuisance at this location.

“It would not be appropriate to comment further.”