Protecting a building from pigeons using bird gel

At A Glance

Location: Newbury, Berkshire

Structure: Luxury Flats

Problem: Pigeon Prevention

Solution: Bird Gel



Tolent Construction is undertaking a major building project at Newbury Racecourse to build luxury flats on the grounds of this famous landmark. With the first phase being completed, a pigeon problem had occurred where birds were roosting on the roof gardens, defecating on the balcony and footpaths below. Several other passive methods have been used without effect, so Rapid Environmental Services were called in to offer advice and provide a long lasting solution to the problem.

The Problem

As soon as work was completed, the pigeons capitalized on the new structure as a roosting and nesting site – pigeons particularly like ledges and sheltered areas which offer a good view of potential predators, so these buildings were almost a perfect habitat – much to the disapproval of the new owners of the flats.

The Challenge

When designing a bird prevention solution, many factors need to be considered, but in this case it was important to provide a solution that required little or no maintenance, be unobtrusive but effective and most importantly be in keeping with the prestigious image of the building.

Another issue faced was that access was fairly restricted from below, so the only possible access was via the rooftop garden area.

The Solution

There are several choices, however the proposed solution was to install bird free gel on the building to deter the birds from attempting to land and roost.

Since it’s introduction in 2010, bird gel has become a very important product in deterring pigeons from roosting and nesting on buildings and other structures which could only be protected by spikes or netting in the past.

The bird gel works in several ways:

  • The gel emits a reflective light which appears like flames to the birds
  • The gel is sticky to the touch, so when preening the birds ingest it
  • It contains chili based oils which are unpleasant to feet and eyes
  • The gel also has a smell which deters the birds from going near it

The gel therefore offers many ways of deterring the birds, educating them that the area is just not a good place to be, so they quickly move off to another more suitable roosting place.

Whilst installing the bird free gel, we used a Mansafe system to tether the operatives safely away from the building edge to stop any risk of falling.

The Result

With the pots now successfully installed, the pigeons have moved away and pose no problem to the residents of the buildings protected. This simple but effective solution is totally discrete and cannot be seen from either the ground or from the roof garden, making it the ideal solution for this particular situation.

Tolent Construction are building multiple blocks of prestigious high specification flats on the Newbury Racecourse site and have welcomed the innovative design of bird prevention measured supplied by Rapid Environmental Services to solve a problem for their clients.

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