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Feeding the birds lands Ray in hot water

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Feeding the birds lands Ray in hot water

AN ANIMAL lover in Dumfries says he has been threatened with eviction - for feeding some birds.

Ray Nicholson, 66, of William Turner Court, says landlord Hanover Housing Association issued the threat after complaints from one of his neighbours.
Stunned by the situation, Mr Nicholson said: “I live in sheltered accommodation in Locharbriggs, and I’ve been here for six years and every morning I throw a couple of slices of fresh bread out for the birds.”
He added: “A neighbour complained at an annual general meeting on November 17 to the housing officer that I was throwing bread out.
“And I was told if I continued to do that I would be jeopardising my tenancy.
“I took that as a threat of eviction if I continued to do that.”
Mr Nicholson says he was told he was breaching his tenancy agreement, but he insists that after examining it closely it says nothing which would prevent him from feeding the local wildlife.
He says he was told there were concerns any left-over food would encourage rats, but insists all of his bread is eaten.
Mr Nicholson acknowledges the ground outside his property is communal.
But he says that a clothes drying area is some distance from where birds are flying.
In addition, he argues that the neighbour who made the complaint has herself erected bird feeders.
Upset by the situation, he said: “I’m living in fear that if I do something like this I’m going to get evicted.
“I think it’s a very bad attitude to take to threaten somebody with their tenancy for doing what thousands of people do.” A spokesman for Hanover Housing Association says residents were asked to assist in reducing the risk of vermin by not feeding the birds by throwing food out of the window on to the common areas of the garden.
The spokesman said: “Tenants were advised that they could feed the birds with bird feeders that were raised off the ground.
“The majority of residents agreed that this was a sensible approach.”

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