North East Connected

New Service to Protect Region’s Birds

A local family company that specialises in aerial installation and repair has launched a new service to protect the well being of birds in the region.

Grant and Blaine Smith of ATV Aerial and Satellite Company are well used to being up on roofs all around the region, but the pair have recently noted the effect that open chimneys and solar panels are having on the health and well being of birds.

Whilst the RSPB support the use of solar energy, as climate change is one of the greatest threats to birds worldwide, there have been numerous occasions where the ATV Aerial team have had to actually rescue birds.

Their new services include the provision and installation of chimney cowl guards and protective wire guards for solar paneling on roofs of domestic and commercial buildings to eliminate the risk of birds getting caught.

The RSPB, who earlier this year fitted solar paneling to a number of its nature reserves, states on its papers:

“While solar energy technologies can impact upon birds and other wildlife, the RSPB considers that if deployed in suitable locations and appropriate mitigation measures are taken, solar energy technologies can be deployed in harmony with nature. Installation should take place outside the breeding season, and avoid blocking access points.”

The protective covers ensure that birds can not get too close to the equipment, whilst not being too visible or creating a eye sore.

Grant Smith, owner of ATVAerial and Satellite Company, has a team that works across the whole of the North east region on both domestic and corporate/communal jobs. He said:

“Many homeowners and also corporate and communal building like flats are having solar panelling fitted at the moment. There is a huge movement coming from the government next year with grants to encourage more.

“Whilst this is really encouraging and good for the environment, which is good for wildlife, we are becoming more and more aware that birds can be at risk. Our netting system and cowls eliminate that risk and will appeal to anyone fitting solar panelling for the right reasons!”

The RSPB recently named the top birds to be found in gardens in the North East which included the magpie of course, and the wood pigeon, house sparrow, goldfinch, blue tits, robins, crows and gulls. Many of these species are in decline so ATV Aerials are determined to help wherever they can with their protective guards.

More information on this service is available by visiting

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