Save the Trafalgar Square Pigeons

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Save the Trafalgar Square Pigeons
Founded 2000, London, England, United Kingdom
Focus Environmentalism
Area served
Trafalgar Square, London
Method Lobbying, Feeding Pigeons
Website Save The Pigeons

Save the Trafalgar Square Pigeons (also known as STTSP) is an organisation that claims to oppose cruelty to wild birds, especially pigeons, in Trafalgar Square, London, England since their creation in 2000.


The group was formed in 2000 when Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London tried to reduce the number of pigeons in Trafalgar Square. These reductions were to be made by a number of techniques, including the removal of the Trafalgar Square bird food seller’s licence. While feeding was still legal, feeders alleged that they were subjected to a period of intimidatory harassment in late October–early December 2002,[1][2][full citation needed][3][4] during the course of which a Harris's Hawk was also introduced.


People feeding pigeons in Trafalgar Square c.1993

STTSP argued that completely removing the bird's food was cruel and would lead to a large number of them dying of starvation. They said that reducing the bird's food source over a longer time scale would result in the reduction of the population as they would have to find an alternative food source.[5] Ken Livingstone claimed that the reduction in bird in the Square was to create a "more pleasant environment." In the run up to the ban Trafalgar Square had undergone a £25 million renovation and £140,000 worth of damage had been caused to Nelson's Column as a result of bird droppings.[6]


Following the alleged period of harassment STTSP eventually went into an agreement with the Greater London Authority in that there would be a reduction in bird numbers so long as this was carried out through non-cruel means, via food reduction instead of starvation. The group were then allowed to feed the birds at 7:30 a.m. once a day. This approach saw a reduction in bird numbers in Trafalgar Square from 4000 to around 200.[6] This restriction was to last until October 2008.

Agreement rescinded[edit]

In 2003 Ken Livingstone and the GLA rescinded their agreement with STTSP and made it illegal for anyone to feed the birds in Trafalgar Square; the penalty for doing so was set at £50.[6] To get around this ban STTSP members moved to an area of the Square not under GLA jurisdiction, but that of the Westminster City Council, thus not covered by the relevant bye-laws and continued to feed the birds.[7] On 10 September 2007 bye-laws were secured that ensured bird feeding was banned throughout the entire square and surrounding areas, with a higher fine of £500 if this law was broken.[8]


  1. ^ "Feathers fly at battle of Trafalgar". West End Extra. London. 22 November 2012. 
  2. ^ "Ken: why I am getting tough on city pigeons". West End Extra. London. p. 4. 
  3. ^ "In a flap over feathered future". West End Extra. London. 29 November 2002. p. 6. 
  4. ^ "Tarred and feathered". West End Extra. London. 6 December 2002. p. 6. 
  5. ^ "Save The Trafalgar Square Pigeons - Background". Retrieved 13 September 2007. 
  6. ^ a b c "BBC News Online - Feeding Trafalgar's pigeons illegal". 17 November 2003. Retrieved 13 September 2007. 
  7. ^ "Daily Mail Online - Now you risk £500 fine if you feed Trafalgar Square pigeons". London. 10 September 2007. Retrieved 17 September 2007. 
  8. ^ "Pigeon feeding banned in Trafalgar Square". 10 September 2007. Retrieved 17 September 2007.