The bird holes of Notre-Dame cathedral “must be part of the restoration”
The French Society for the Protection of Birds has appealed for the reconstruction of Notre-Dame to conserve the original holes at the top of the building that housed kestrels and other species for centuries before the cathedral was built. devastated by fire in 2019.
According to current plans, they could be removed.
“Putlock holes”, originally used for scaffolding, have been favored as nesting sites for kestrels since 1840, with blue tits and swifts also being charismatic for their offspring.
But with President Emmanuel Macron adamant, the cathedral will be reopened to visitors in time for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, the League for the Protection of Birds (LPO) has called for its feathered friends not to fall “chickens »Reconstruction work. , whose launch is imminent.
Legislation hastily passed by Parliament to speed up the process removed some environmental obligations that the LPO says mean bird welfare will be overlooked.
“The argument for removing them is to say that this will prevent the proliferation of pigeons and thus put an end to the droppings”, declared Emmanuel du Cherimont, LPO deputy for the Paris region.
“But on the contrary, the birds should not be forgotten and the putlock holes should not be blocked. They are essential to the life of hawks, ”he said. The Parisian.
A few kestrels had nested at Notre Dame before the fire and briefly returned to the north transept, but have since left due to construction noise and drone overflights.
The LPO also requested the addition of nesting boxes “the same color as limestone”.
Mr Cherimont said the cathedral and its plaza were also home to sparrows, redtails and great tits, but feared they may have been affected by lead pollution after 400 tons of the toxic metal seeped out. gone up in smoke during the fire of April 2019.
Earlier this month, Paris authorities were accused in a legal complaint of failing to protect the health of people living near the cathedral due to such lead pollution. (© Telegraph Media Group 2021)