Sussex

Uckfield's Jesus in jeans statue given 'flames' to deter pigeons

The bronze statue shows Jesus Christ wearing jeans and a shirt
Image caption The Jesus in jeans statue was installed on the bell tower of the church in 2009

A statue of Jesus wearing jeans has been given a "flaming" new treatment to stop it being used as a pigeon perch.

The bronze statue, which was installed at Our Lady Immaculate and St Philip Neri Church, Uckfield, Sussex, in 2009, had become a popular nesting place.

Droppings from pigeons were spoiling the look of the statue and making the area underneath very slippery.

Parts have now been covered with small pots of an ultraviolet gel which has a flame-like appearance to birds.

Image caption Pigeons had been nesting behind the statue and using Christ's halo as a perch

The creatures are also disgusted by the smell and taste of the substance.

Alan Duncan, who looks after maintenance at the church, said he was delighted that the gel pots appeared to have deterred the birds.

"We were at a loss as to what to do next. At one point we put anti-bird spikes on various resting places, painting them gold to match the halo.

"Unfortunately, the pigeons were most comfortable with the additions," he added.

The £35,000 statue, by Lewes sculptor Marcus Cornish, was commissioned to mark the church's 50th anniversary.

Pigeon faeces are acidic and can cause damage to statues, stone and brickwork.

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