The Bird Lady of Pennywell’ Receives Eviction Notice for Attracting Vermin Through Bird Feeding

The Bird Lady of Pennywell’ Receives Eviction Notice for Attracting Vermin Through Bird Feeding

Tracy O’Neill, known as ‘The Bird Lady of Pennywell’, is facing potential eviction from her home after neighbors lodged complaints about vermin attracted by the birdseed she provides.

The housing association, Gentoo, issued an official warning letter urging her to cease feeding the birds, citing concerns about rats and property damage caused by pigeons.

Passion for Bird Feeding

The 52-year-old grandmother, Tracy O’Neill, began feeding birds with seed eight years ago as a therapeutic activity for her anxiety and depression.

Despite the complaints, O’Neill insists that the bird feeding is a positive endeavor that connects her with nature and alleviates her mental health struggles.

Neighbor Complaints and Official Warning

Gentoo, responding to multiple complaints from neighbors, contends that loose bird seed left by O’Neill attracts unwanted vermin and causes distress to others.

The housing association issued a warning letter on February 1, suggesting that further court proceedings may be initiated if the feeding-related nuisance persists.

Impact on Mental Health

O’Neill, deeply attached to her bird-feeding routine, expressed the positive impact it has on her mental health.

The potential eviction notice has taken a toll on her well-being, leading to increased blood pressure and additional medication prescribed by her GP.

Dispute Over Bird Feeding Method

The dispute revolves around how the birds are fed, with Gentoo suggesting that bird seed on the ground may attract vermin.

O’Neill, in contrast, asserts that she uses bird tables and feeders, not placing seed directly on the floor.

Despite verbal warnings, O’Neill continues to feed the birds, driven by a sense of responsibility to the animals.

Eviction Notice and Future Concerns

On February 1, O’Neill received a Section 8 notice from Gentoo, indicating the landlord’s intention to begin possession proceedings based on the ‘nuisance’ caused by bird feeding.

The notice serves as a reminder to address the bird seed issue, with potential court proceedings looming. O’Neill remains anxious about her future, having sought advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Housing Association Perspective

Gentoo emphasizes the right of residents to enjoy their homes without disturbance and highlights the ongoing vermin issues caused by bird feeding.

The housing association acknowledges efforts to resolve the matter with polite requests and suggestions for alternative feeding methods but claims that complaints persist, necessitating the eviction warning.

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