Community rallies to protect wildlife from speedy drivers

A FURIOUS community champion and angry villagers are blaming mad-cap motorists for killing and endangering wildlife at a village pond.


The special duck sign on Church Road

Councillor Adrian Alexander, chair of Saddleworth and Lees District Executive, launched his salvo after residents near the pond in Uppermill reported the death of two ducks.

Initially, residents erected their own handmade sign on Church Road warning of “geese on the road” to try to stave problems.

After listening to their protests, Cllr Alexander helped to get a special duck warning sign erected because of concerns over ducks being left dead, injured or terrified by uncaring drivers.

Now he is considering the use of CCTV in an attempt to curb speeding motorists following further protests from residents living near the Willow Bank.

“Someone actually turned the sign around so it couldn’t be seen by drivers,” he said. “We’ve got to stop this potential slaughter.”

The historic pond, which is a favourite nesting and breeding spot for geese and ducks, is also a tourist attraction for painters and photographers.

One elderly resident, who did not want to be named, said: “Drivers hurtle down the road without any thought for wildlife.

“The pond sits on a long bend and the birds and their young who may be attempting to cross should be approached with care.”

Several birds are believed to have been injured, killed, injured and left traumatised by accidents with vehicles.

Cllr Alexander added: “I love wildlife and I have been contacted by people in my own ward, Saddleworth West and Lees, and community representatives over the danger to the animals by speeding motorists.”

RSPB’s Dovestone operation is managed from a base in Uppermill, and manager Dave O’Hara said: “Drivers just need to cut their speed.

“The wildlife only need a short time to nest and look after their young.”

“The ducks and geese around Uppermill are a source of pleasure for many people.

He added: “Although there are be circumstances where it is legal for a landowner to destroy the nests of Canada Geese, for instance, if there are public safety issues, nest destruction should be a last resource, and other options should be investigated first.”

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