The discovery of a peregrine falcon nest on the Cathedral tower has halted work on the Cathedral steeple. The nest contains a single egg.
The work on the steeply relates to a crack discovered by steeplejacks that requires further investigation.
In recent years the peregrines have been regular visitors to the city centre, and they previously nested on Holy Trinity spire as well as on buildings at Coventry University. Peregrine falcons are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 which makes it a criminal offence to kill, injure or take a peregrine. Their nests and eggs are protected and the law also protects the birds from intentional or reckless disturbance at their nest sites.
The examination of the Cathedral spire must wait until the egg hatches and the chick fledges, so work may not finish until the autumn. To avoid having to close the Ruins throughout the summer in order to comply with health and safety regulations, the Cathedral Chapter has agreed to erect a scaffolding collar around the base of the tower at a cost of £25,000. Closure of the Ruins would disappoint the anticipated influx of visitors to planned City of Culture events, which would in turn reduce visitor donations.
The peregrine falcon is known for its diving speed of up to 186 miles per hour which makes it the fastest animal in the world.
This story is courtesy of the Friends of Coventry Cathedral, Chairman’s E news