Neighbours take hotelier to court to silence his lovelorn peacocks
The noise made by lovelorn peacocks, deprived of a hen during the mating season, has resulted in a court battle between a hotelier and neighbouring householders.
A petition, signed by 26 neighbours of The Retreat Castle Hotel in Cockpen Road, Bonnyrigg, Midlothian, lodged at Edinburgh Justice of the Peace Court, sought an order to silence the birds.
Appearing in court today yesterday for the petitioners, Ernest Shields, told Justice, Alaster Drummond, that the noise the birds were making had led to the application for the enforcement order.
The birds, he said, also entered the gardens of the houses and caused damage by landing on roofs.
Hotel owner, Peter Hood, bought the hotel eight years ago and there had always been a pea hen there.
He said he had never had any complaints, but new housing had been built on ground which previously was part of the hotel property.
At present there was not a pea hen.
He explained that peacocks became more active and noisy during the mating season which lasted from April to July and 'quite noisy' if there was not a pea hen.
Peacocks, he added, had been in the area for over 100 years.
There were even streets named after them. The gardens of the new houses had been part of the peacocks' territory.
'The people next door are not familiar with the hotel and the houses were built right up the back of me'.
The four peacocks that had been at the hotel had now been sent elsewhere, two over a 100 miles away.
Mr Hood said he had considered having one peacock and one pea hen in a pen, but he felt that would be unfair on the birds as they were quite large.
There were now no peacocks at the hotel.
Justice Drummond continued the hearing until September.
He told Mr Shields and Mr Hood: 'I would like you to come to some agreement, find some common ground. What I am really looking for is you to try working some way rounds things and solve things'.
Source: Daily Mail