Essex

Mystery of Stansted Mountfitchet peacock road crossing signs

Peacock crossing sign Image copyright Mountfitchet Castle
Image caption It is not known who installed the signs in the centre of the village

Signs have mysteriously appeared in an Essex village warning motorists to slow down for crossing peacocks.

The birds are often seen wandering around Stansted Mountfitchet from their home at the nearby castle.

One of the peacocks, Percy, is often seen running across roads, especially during the mating season. One peacock was killed on the road in January.

Signs have appeared at three junctions but the parish council and castle said they did not know who put them up.

The signs have been well-received by people commenting on the village Facebook group.

Image copyright Mountfitchet Castle
Image caption Percy and the other peacocks often wander away from the castle and into the village

One wrote: "Well I for one would like to say thank you to the peacock sign putter-upper, these signs make me smile every time I see them, and they help keep Percy safe."

Another asked: "Do we have any fast peacocks?"

Jeremy Goldsmith, co-owner of Mountfitchet Castle, said: "There's a real love for the peacocks in the village, although we get the occasional complaint during mating season because Percy can become quite vocal."

The signs "suddenly appeared" overnight, he said. It is thought they were installed late last week.

Image copyright Mountfitchet Castle
Image caption Percy is one of three peacocks and there are also two peahens at the castle

"Sadly we lost one of our peacocks on a village road in January and It think some good-natured person just took it on themselves to have the signs made up," Mr Goldsmith said.

"It's one of the quirky things that makes the village what it is."

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