Clandestine cockerels to be removed from Doncaster allotments after noise complaints

Cockerels can't be kept on allotments under an act from 1950
Cockerels can't be kept on allotments under an act from 1950

Edlington allotment holders will be forced to get rid of noisy cockerels on their property as the town council enforces an almost 70-year-law to remove the birds.

Noise complaints have forced Edlington Town Council to tell the holders to remove the cockerels, which aren't allowed to be kept there under the 1950 Allotments Act.

It's not good news for holders like Ken Leighton, whose allotment is at Auburn Road.

A notice went up at Mr Leighton's allotment last week, and he wasn't happy to read his birds would have to be removed.

Victoria Road resident Mr Leighton, who has four cockerels on the allotment, said the noise from the birds wasn't a problem.

"Surely a rotor vator going up and down for a couple of hours would be more noisy than a cockerel crowing once every so often," he said.

He said modern houses would have more noise prevention features than when the law was introduced.

"This act is from 1950. People have double glazing back then," Mr Leighton, who's 65, said.

"I can't think of a house that hasn't got it [now]."

Mr Leighton has rented his allotment for 'six or seven months', and had four cockerels on it, along with quail and vegetables.

He had hoped to breed the cockerel, but they will now go to a farm at Mexborough.

He wasn't alone in keeping cockerels on the allotment.

"The majority have got rid of them," he said.

"They're not happy about it."

Initial reports that the cockerels would have to be culled were incorrect, according to a council representative.

"There has been some mis-information communicated," Edlington Town Council clerk Simon Oldham said.

"I don't know where the word 'culling' came from.

"The town council will not be culling, nor have we issued the order to cull."

Mr Oldham said he visited the allotments when the complaints were received, and that he took the law 'very seriously'.

The complaint came from a neighbour who said the birds were waking his family.

Mr Oldham said cockerels had never been permitted on the allotments.

"The Town Council have not permitted the keeping of cockerels on sites within its ownership, so this is not a change of circumstance, but in light of this recent complaint, have revised the wording of our allotment rules to make this explicitly clear," he said.

The town council owns four allotment sites in Edlington which are self-managed.