As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 29 August 2014

DON'T feed the birds: Pensioner banned from putting out hanging feeders because they're a 'health hazard' - and threatened with police action if she doesn't stop

Frances Cheatham, 71, lays out food every day in Leyfield Court, Chester
Spends her own money feeding the birds at the retirement flats 
Says it has brought her 'untold amounts of joy' for the past four years 
But Chester & District Housing Trust said she was 'spreading disease'
She now says her 'only enjoyment' in life has been taken away 

PUBLISHED: 13:39, 28 August 2014 | UPDATED: 01:51, 29 August 2014

For more than two years her greatest pleasure in life has been feeding the birds in the garden.

Pensioner Frances Cheatham watches every morning with binoculars from her kitchen window as they tuck in to the seeds and nuts she puts out for them.

Most days the 71-year-old former driving instructor also enjoys listening to the birdsong that echoes around the communal grounds and sheltered accommodation she shares with other residents. 

But the kind-hearted Bird Lady has found herself in a showdown with her neighbours and authorities – after being ordered to stop.

An investigation involving police, an environmental health specialist and housing trust officials highlighted potential ‘health hazards’ and concluded she risked spreading disease. She was then called to a housing trust meeting attended by a police officer to discuss the bird feeding and neighbour complaints.

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