‘Bring back Staunton Country Park peacocks’ demands bird-lover

CAMPAIGN Posters in Julie Middleton's window in Leigh Park
CAMPAIGN Posters in Julie Middleton's window in Leigh Park
From left, Southampton City Council leader Simon Letts, Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones, and Isle of Wight Council leader Jonathan Bacon sign the formal application for a Solent Combined Authority in 2016

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PLACARDS have been put up demanding the return of peacocks to a country park.

Julie Middleton, whose home backs on to Staunton Country Park, is campaigning for the return of the birds after they were rehomed.

Managers at Staunton said the peacocks had outgrown their territory and were becoming more difficult to catch as they ended up in gardens and roads. There was also a complaint about a peacock damaging a neighbour’s fence.

Mrs Middleton put the posters up in her conservatory and has now moved them to her fence.

The 57-year-old, of Exbury Road, Leigh Park, said: ‘It’s even more prominent for people in the park to see.

‘I am trying to get some support and people in the park to ask staff about it. I can’t believe it. They are part of the history of Leigh Park.

‘I have lived here for 30 years with them coming into my garden. I have had five in at one time. They have never caused any damage in my garden whatsoever.’

Many, however, have supported the decision. Wendi Goodwin wrote: ‘I totally understand the need to rehome.’

Jody Chapman wrote: ‘Never did like the peacocks and chickens roaming around when my kids and I were trying to eat our lunch.’

Staunton manager Kerry Bailey said: ‘We are reviewing our animal collection in order to make sure our visitors get the best day out we can give them. Already we have introduced more animal encounters, where the public can meet the animals up close, and we are excited about the improvements we want to make on the farm. As part of that we will be looking at whether we get new peacocks, ones that can be kept in an aviary, or other birds that can be brought into new walk-through enclosures.’

She added: ‘I have spoken to some people about the peacocks already and they now understand why the birds were re-homed, for their own welfare.’