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The cock crows - far too early...

PUBLISHED: 11:08 16 October 2008 | UPDATED: 10:44 12 July 2010

Feral cockerels in a south Norfolk cemetery are waking up residents in the early hours despite complaints to the town council over several months.

The three birds, which have taken up residence in the town cemetery at Diss, often begin crowing at about 3am or 4am and continue almost without rest for several hours - to the anger and consternation of those living in Heywood Avenue which backs on to the graveyard.

Feral cockerels in a south Norfolk cemetery are waking up residents in the early hours despite complaints to the town council over several months.

The three birds, which have taken up residence in the town cemetery at Diss, often begin crowing at about 3am or 4am and continue almost without rest for several hours - to the anger and consternation of those living in Heywood Avenue which backs on to the graveyard.

Neighbour Roy Addinall said: “I am one of those residents who has complained both in person and by telephone to the town clerk, to be told that 'We are aware if the problem but we don't know what to do'. I was told that council staff had shooed the birds off the cemetery but they had returned. What a surprise!

“It is somewhat ironic that the deeds of properties in Heywood Avenue preclude owners from keeping poultry, yet the town council can continue to do so on a site of special scientific interest which adjoins the street.

“Not only are people losing sleep, but I have been told that at least one burial party was disturbed when the birds exercised their lungs during a service where the mourners could not hear what the officiating priest was saying.”

Mr Addinall is not calling for the birds to be culled, but suggested there must be a farmer or landowner in the locality - not too close to Heywood Avenue - who is prepared to give the cockerels a new home.

Town clerk Derborah Sarson said they have received complaints from two neighbouring residents and are trying to resolve the issue, but catching the chickens is not easy.

“Obviously we don't want to kill them and we are actually endeavouring to rehouse them,” she explained.

“We have somebody who's offered to give them a good home but the only time we can catch them is when they are roosting and they are so high up in a tree. He is trying, but can't get them, and I think he intends to come back with a ladder. The difficulty is as soon as you get other people using equipment like that you get onto issues of health and safety.”

The Mercury contacted Diss funeral directors Rackham's and Rosedale but neither company had experienced problems with noise disturbance from cockerels at the cemetery.

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