Be patient with bird scarers during the harvest say farmers

Arable farmers across Scotland are explaining to those living in rural areas that bird scaring devices are a noisy but necessary evil at harvest time.

Growers are asking for patience and understanding from those living and working near cropped areas as bird scaring devices, such as gas ‘bangers’, are needed for crop protection at this vital time of year.

Scarers and deterrents are essential to protect many crops including barley, wheat, fruits and vegetables from being damaged by birds during the busy harvest season when valuable crops are at their most vulnerable.

To reduce the impact of deterrents on the public, and to ensure proper use, there are specific guidelines for farmers regarding gas bangers. Farmers and growers are advised to ensure that their use is a last resort only, and are encouraged to consider other options such as visual deterrents. When a farmer or grower is using auditory deterrents, they are asked to not use them between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am or 7 am (depending on sunrise), to use reflective or baffling to concentrate the sound onto the field and away from neighbours and to try to refrain from using auditory scarers on Sundays.

Gemma Cooper, NFU Scotland’s Legal and Technical Policy Manager commented

We would urge our members to ensure that they are compliant with the guidelines for use of gas bangers and that impact on those who live and work in surrounding areas is limited.

The use of such deterrents is noisy but necessary at this time of year, and we would ask the general public to be patient and bear with our members who have to use this method of protection. We want to ensure that the hard work that goes into growing crops helps put food and drink on the table rather than being lost to birds.


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