Man, 75, banned from feeding garden birds

John Coots has been banned from feeding birds and animals in his garden

John Coots has been banned from feeding birds and animals in his garden

A Houghton Regis pensioner has been served an injunction by his local council to stop him feeding birds and animals at his home.

John Coots, of Dunstable Road, has been giving food to birds at his property since he moved there 13 years ago.

He was served the injunction on Friday by Central Bedfordshire Council after complaints from his neighbours.

The 75-year-old bachelor told the Gazette: “I have been feeding the birds since I bought the property in 2001 and have not had any complaints until a few years ago.

“I feel victimised and bullied. I am the odd one out on this street.

“The birds have never damaged my property or made a mess in my garden or on my laundry so I don’t see why they would have made such a mess and caused so much damage to my neighbours’ property.”

Keen gardener Mr Coots, who worked for a building supplies company before he retired, added: “It is unfair to ban me when my neighbours are still allowed several bird feeders in their garden. It doesn’t seem right.”

A spokesperson for the council said: “We have been in regular contact with Mr Coots regarding this issue since November 2011 after receiving a significant number of complaints.

“During that time we have done everything we can to try and help him understand the impact his actions were having on his neighbours and those living nearby.

“Unfortunately our efforts have not solved the problem and the damage to people’s homes and property continued, so we have had to take action.

“Although the injunction stops Mr Coots feeding birds or other wildlife at his home and its surroundings, there is nothing stopping him doing so in any of the parks or open spaces nearby.

“We want to make Central Bedfordshire a great place to live and work and help to build friendly, safe communities.

“So if we do get reports and complaints of anti-social behaviour we will investigate and take action if we need to.”

My Coots added: “I love feeding the animals and now I am not allowed.

“It is ridiculous. They have called it anti-social behaviour, but how is feeding birds in my own garden anti-social behaviour?”

> What do you think? Should Mr Coots have been banned from feeding birds in his garden?

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