Anger over dovecote blockage prompts Sully pub u-turn

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Media captionThe pub has apologised for not speaking to the community about its plans

A pub that faced a social media backlash over its plan to seal up a dovecote has reversed its decision.

The Captain's Wife pub in Sully, Vale of Glamorgan brought in contractors to seal up the structure, which provides shelter for doves and pigeons.

Caerphilly Bird Rescue described it on Facebook as a "cruel, barbaric act".

The pub has apologised for not speaking to the community before making its original decision and agreed to reopen the dovecote, which is on its premises.

A dovecote is a structure designed to house pigeons or doves.

Caerphilly Bird Rescue's initial social media post has been shared more than 780 times and attracted more than 470 comments.

Image caption Contractors have been unblocking the dovecote again
Image copyright Paul Griffiths
Image caption The doves were pictured in a tree near to the pub

The pub previously said it made its original decision due to the "unmanageable numbers of birds" using the dovecote but it would now contact a local bird rescue group to "resolve the situation."

Daisy Shepheard and her daughter Delilah said they often visit the site to feed the birds.

Image caption Daisy Shephard said she visits the site often with her daughter to feed the birds

"It's not a nice thing, these doves have been here forever, over 80 years, way before the Captain's Wife has been here.

"There seems to be one hole open but the birds are not going back in, has their home now been ruined and they don't want to go back in."

Jonathan Young said he was "very upset about it".

"I heard that they're going to open it back up, I just wanted to check that they're ok," he said.

Image caption Jonathan Young said the birds could have perished in the cold

"It's been here years, to shut it off like this, there's just no need."

The pub's statement added: "Our original decision to block the dovecote was made on the grounds of health and safety and hygiene - because of the large amount of pigeons and total number of other birds using the dovecote which was creating a seriously unhygienic environment.

"On reopening the dovecote we will be increasing the number of cleaning visits by our hygiene experts to monitor the situation until, working with the local bird rescue group, we have established the best possible solution.

"We understand this could have been handled better in the first instance and we should have engaged with the local community before a decision was made, and for that we would like to apologise."

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