31 August 2001

Using wind to scare birds

AN agricultural engineer has designed a bird scarer which uses wind power to drive away pigeons.

Peter Cornish of Rougham, a village near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, was brought up on a local farm and remembers birds damaging his fathers crops.

Mr Cornishs uncle, Basil Elden, who farms about 20 miles away at Wickham Skeith, was having trouble with pigeons on a 10 acre oilseed rape field where a conventional gas-powered "banger" was proving unsuccessful. He wanted an effective scarer that was cheap to operate.

After experimenting with several prototypes, Mr Cornish produced a wind-powered machine which keeps up a constant clanging in even the slightest breeze. It is based on a windmill design, having "air paddles" which keep a metal clanger revolving.

The machine works because "there are so few days in the year when there is no wind at all," said Mr Cornish. His company, SC Engineering, has produced 10 of the bird scarers for sale at £250 each. &#42