This image shows the plastic owls that are being used at Morpeth station

Northern launches ‘counter offensive’ to make train stations a no-go area for pigeons

Northern is forcing pigeons to take flight with the trial of new deterrents at stations across its network. 

The train operator is broadcasting noises that simulate predatory hawks, positioning plastic owls around some stations to scare pigeons away and using a special gel on ledges and roof trusses which tricks the pigeons into thinking the surface is too hot for them to land on. 

Northern’s ‘counter offensive’ follows particular problems at Driffield (East Yorkshire) and Morpeth (Northumberland) stations which have become problematic poo hotspots. 

At Driffield station, hawk sounds will now play every 30 minutes between 10am and 4pm daily. Research has shown that this has been effective in removing pigeons from private residences. 

And at the same station, a special "fire" gel has been used on ledges and roof trusses which appears to pigeons as ultraviolet light and therefore unsuitable to land on. 

Meanwhile at Morpeth station, which is also plagued by pigeons, plastic owls have been placed on the station roof to scare pigeons away.  

Kerry Peters, regional director at Northern, said: "We want to make sure our stations are a ‘no-go’ area for pigeons and make them fly the coop in a way that is humane and harmless.  

“We clean all our station regularly and we take the impact the mess has on our communities and the environment very seriously.” 

The trials will remain in place until the end of November and if successful could be rolled out across the Northern network. 

Northern is the second largest train operator in the UK, with 2,500 services a day to more than 500 stations across the North of England. 

Contact Information

Northern Trains Press Office