A MAN has been told to change the way he feeds birds in his garden or face the prospect of action being taken against him by his landlord.

Ian Sheavils received a letter from Karbon Homes asking him to move his bird feeders off a shared fence and take steps to ensure that he doesn't attract seagulls into his Stanley garden or anti-social behaviour measures will be taken against him.

However, the housing association has confirmed that action would only be taken if he didn't take notice of the advice and stop large birds fouling neighbouring gardens.

But Mr Sheavils says he is now too scared to put food out for the birds but is adamant that he hasn't done anything wrong.


Mr Sheavils in his garden

"I was really shocked when I received the letter," he said. "We are always hearing that we need to feed wildlife but I am being told to stop because it is attracting the wrong type of birds.

"I can assure the housing group that I only use food that is recommended and I certainly don't set out to attract seagulls."

Mr Sheavils, who lives on Turner Close, Stanley, added: "All I want to do is be able to feed the birds but I'm too scared to now in case I get into trouble with the landlord. I always use suet blocks to feed them and all I want is the small birds to be able to come into my garden to eat.

"The field behind used to be farmed and that could be the reason why the seagulls still come."


One of the bird feeders in Mr Sheavils' garden

A spokesman for Karbon Homes said they had been working with their tenant in an attempt to resolve the issue.

He said: “We’ve written to Mr Sheavils about this issue, after receiving complaints from residents of neighbouring properties about large birds fouling their gardens and personal property – and the impact this has on their wellbeing.

“One of our colleagues has previously spoken to Mr Sheavils, to ask that bird feeders should not be placed on the fences adjoining his neighbours’ gardens.

“We have now written to Mr Sheavils, to outline what was agreed over the telephone, and specifying that he should not feed nor encourage seagulls, specifically, to come to his garden.

“We do not object to residents feeding birds in general, but this is a matter of what is reasonable in this location, on this street.

“We have an obligation to all our residents on Turner Close to ensure they can enjoy their properties without undue disturbance.”