Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Southsea 'goose-strike' risk Solent Wheel dismantled

Solent Wheel
Image caption The giant wheel is being taken down amid fears geese could fly into it on their way to feed at nearby mudflats

Work has started to dismantle a ferris wheel on Southsea seafront because of fears thousands of migratory birds might fly into it.

The Solent Wheel, which is 35m (115ft) high, was erected in April.

The £750,000 attraction is going because large flocks of brent geese are due to arrive from Russia to spend the winter on nearby mudflats.

Clarence Pier, the owner of the wheel, said it expected to relocate the ride to another resort.

A spokesperson said the company was unable to "resolve planning issues regarding brent geese".

Image caption Work is under way to take down the seafront ferris wheel
Image caption Natural England said tall structures can "increase collision risks" and may deter the birds from accessing their winter sites

In order for the ride to remain, a bird survey was needed to show that winter operation would not have a significant effect on the geese.

Natural England said it was concerned about the "potential impacts" of the tall structure to the geese, which fly between the land next to the wheel and mudflats in the nearby harbours.

According to the RSPB, the Southsea area has a flock of more than 2,600 Brent geese that arrive during October and leave in March.

The attraction ran for the last time on 30 September.

Image copyright Hampshire Constabulary
Image caption The giant wheel opened at Clarence Pier in April

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