Finningley village's peacock row renewed after bird damages car

A long-running row over the presence of peacocks in a South Yorkshire village has reignited after a car was damaged by one of the creatures.

Simon Brackenbury's BMW was scratched by a feathered Finningley resident.

The village near Doncaster, which is mentioned in the Domesday Book, has been home to the distinctive animals for about half a century.

Complaints about the 22 birds living there prompted an ecology report and survey in 2019.

It was concluded that up to 44 peacocks and peahens could be "safely supported" but some villagers now want the parish council to re-examine the situation.

Mr Brackenbury said the level of scratching inflicted on his vehicle made it look like someone had vandalised it.

He said the damage to his paintwork was not covered by insurance as it was classed as an "Act of God".

Talking to BBC Radio Sheffield, the village resident said following the incident he now wanted some of the peafowl to be relocated.

He said: "I don't want them harmed in any way, they are a beautiful bird.

"I don't want to see them all go from the village but we are getting to the stage where we are just being overrun by them."

While it is not clear how many of the birds currently live in Finningley, some villagers enjoy sharing their gardens with the brightly-coloured birds.

Caroline Newbould said other residents should take steps to prevent damage and suggested buying a car cover could solve the issue.

She said: "If you don't like the peacocks you have every right to say that and indeed I totally empathise if they scratch your car or eat your plants or dig up your flowerbeds.

"But you can see by taking a few, easy measures you can have a beautiful garden."

All about peafowl

  • Peafowl are members of the pheasant family

  • Their natural habitat is woodland and forests

  • The term "peacock" commonly refers to birds of both sexes, but only males are technically peacocks

  • Female peafowl are called peahens

  • Their diet consists of grains, berries, insects, small reptiles and mammals

Credit: WWF

Minutes from a parish council meeting in 2019 state that the authority decided to review the peacock population only if a petition from a minimum of 15% of the total households was received.

The BBC has approached Finningley Parish Council for an update.

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