MORE than a dozen eggs and about 20 birds previously targeted for culling have been rescued from under a railway bridge.

Work was carried out at the end of last week in a bid to stop pigeons roosting under the bridge on Dunbar’s Spott Road.

East Lothian Council brought in contractors to carry out the work after concerns about the birds swooping down and startling drivers, as well as the pigeons’ droppings making the footpath under the bridge slippery and hazardous.

Originally, a cull was considered but a petition against the idea was signed by nearly 3,000 people calling for a rethink.

READ MORE: Petition launched in bid to stop pigeon cull

Ethical pest control company Humane Wildlife Solutions was called in to assist in preventing the pigeons from returning to the bridge.

East Lothian Courier: Work has been carried out to rescue pigeons and eggs from under the rail bridge on Dunbar's Spott Road. Picture: Humane Wildlife Solutions

A statement on the company’s social media account said: “Eleven large chicks, four yellow chicks and 16 eggs on their way to the wonderful Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue [in Ayrshire].

“A few days ago, these chicks were destined to be culled, but thanks to East Lothian Council and the private contractors agreeing to work with us, they are now all being given a chance at life.

“We didn’t charge for this service but we would ask for anyone who wishes to donate to do so to support Hessilhead care for these pigeons.”

Last week, the council confirmed that the work would be carried out during the day, when the bulk of the adult pigeons were away from the bridge. In that time, the nests and any young pigeons, or squabs, were removed.

Netting has now been put in place under the bridge in a bid to stop future roosting, while one-way exits were also put in place to ensure any pigeons that were under the bridge could get out.

A spokeswoman for the council confirmed that the work at the bridge was now complete.

She said: “The area has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, and netting and spikes put in place to stop future roosting.

“The netting has been checked a number of times to ensure no birds were left behind and, although extremely unlikely, there is also a one-way outward tunnel within the netting to allow birds to leave the site.”

Councillor Norman Hampshire, who represents the town on East Lothian Council and is the local authority’s environment spokesman, said that people still had a role to play.

He said: “It would be helpful if people in the surrounding area weren’t to feed pigeons, as this will encourage them to remain in the area rather than seeking alternate roosting sites.”

The issue had previously been raised at the town’s community council meeting last year.

On Monday evening, at the group’s latest meeting, Dunbar and East Linton ward member Councillor Paul McLennan highlighted the strength of feeling about the issue.

He said he had received emails from as far afield as France and added: “It was the largest number of emails I have had on any one issue.”