Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Coach's voice to scare off pigeons

Bath Rugby have come up with a novel way to keep pigeons off the pitch

He may be more used to shouting from the sidelines at international rugby players.

But now the vocal talents of Bath Rugby head coach Gary Gold are being used to put a rocket up a very different group.

The no-nonsense South African's dulcet tones are being played over a loudspeaker to frighten away pesky pigeons at the club's ground.

Work has already begun to relay the pitch at The Rec for next season - and no sooner had the playing surface been stripped away and new seed laid by the groundsmen, than hundreds of birds arrived for a giant feast.

Attempts to shoo the flock away with scarecrows, flags and shouting failed and the gluttonous pigeons began to delay the vital work.

Then the club hit on an idea of using the most authoritative voice it had within its ranks as an audio warning to scare the birds away.

Fearing that the pitch would not be ready for next season, Mr Gold agreed to record a message of warning to be blasted over the PA system at The Rec.

"We stripped away the old pitch last week and laid new seed immediately but the faster we put it down the more birds arrived," said head groundsman Darren Ball.

The club is now broadcasting Gold's more colourful half-time team talks over the PA system at full volume. "It worked a treat so we'll keep on using it as long as the birds stay hungry," Mr Ball said.

A club spokeswoman added: "Anyone who has witnessed Gold's intensity first hand will know that when he tells you what he wants, you are left in no doubt. And while the message isn't necessarily suitable for print, our feathered intruders seem to be getting the picture. Thanks to Gold, it looks like the team will indeed have a top-notch surface on which to play."

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