Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Clean bird mess from our statues and attract more tourists says councillor

Edward Vll statue on the corner of Union Street and Union Terrace.
Edward Vll statue on the corner of Union Street and Union Terrace.

Historic monuments in Aberdeen should be “freshened up” to attract more tourists to the city centre, the council has been told.

Statues including those of Gordons chief General Gordon, poet Robert Burns, legendary warrior Sir William Wallace and monarch King Edward VII are regularly covered in bird droppings.

The statue honouring the Gordon Highlanders regiment on Castlegate is particularly infamous, with the mess created by gulls regularly described as “disgusting”.

The monument was unveiled by the Duke of Rothesay in 2011 to commemorate the service of the Gordon Highlanders.

In September, however, following complaints about the two bronze life-sized soldiers on the block of pink granite being covered in bird droppings, council chiefs said they had invested in a new chemical gel meant to deter the birds.

The Gordon Highlanders statue at Castlegate.

City centre community councillor Michael Kuznir said that many of the statues to historical figures were now more noticeable for the mess they regularly find themselves in than the individuals and groups they commemorate – and said he fears this could dissuade tourists from visiting, and certainly from appreciating them.

He said:”It is a sad day when General Gordon, Robert Burns and so many other important historical figures are now playing second fiddle to the Aberdeen gulls.

“The mess they leave all over these statutes is easily noticed.

“A freshening up of these monuments would go hand-in-hand with the ongoing improvement of our city centre and maybe even help promote them to tourists.”

The council’s 25-year City Centre Masterplan identifies the need for more tourists to visit the Granite City to diversify the economy away from its reliance on oil and gas.

A “café culture” is envisaged where more tables are kept outside and guided tours of attractions are in place.

Lord Provost Barney Crockett, himself a keen historian, said he would raise the issue with council officers.

Paraphrasing former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s famous “tough on crime” speech he said: “We will be tough on bird mess and tough on the causes of bird mess.

“We take all suggestions seriously and I will ask council officers to look into the issue and see if the gel can be applied more widely.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in