Bill Oddie backs T in the Park move, claiming ospreys are tolerant of noise


T IN THE Park’s controversial bid for a new home has received surprise backing from celebrity twitcher Bill Oddie.

The 73-year-old vice-president of the RSPB said there was little chances nesting ospreys at the proposed new site would be affected.

Oddie, a former presenter of BBC’s Springwatch, claimed there is a “very good chance” the young osprey will have “grown up and flown away” by the time the festival kicks off in July.

A pair of osprey are currently nesting in a fir tree above the planned main stage in the grounds of Strathallan Castle, Perthshire.

Oddie reckons osprey are tolerant of noise. Pic: Louise McLaren
Oddie reckons osprey are tolerant of noise. Pic: Louise McLaren


Disturbing the nest could result in a £5,000 or six months in prison.

Despite the row, councillors in Perth and Kinross have decided to grant a planning application for the festival.

But Oddie, who enjoyed a musical career in the 60s and 70s alongside television comedy, said of T in the Park: “In the list of problems for birds, and for birds of prey in particular, it’s nothing”.

He added: “Both ospreys and rock festivals are things dear to my heart and I’d like to think they could co-exist.”

He said by the time of the festival “there is a very good chance they will have grown up and flown away”.

Oddie admitted: “They sometimes stick around a bit longer. Ospreys are pretty good at not being spooked out by noise.

“After all they nest at the top of great big fir trees normally, in noisy places in many parts of the world – harbours, airports and so on and so forth.

“And it’s not as if it’s the only pair of ospreys in Scotland, to be honest.”

Local environmentalists and The Woodland Trust are among the groups who spoke out against the move.

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  1. Mr Oddie is mistaken. The youngsters will not have fledged by the first two weeks in July. Young osprey frightened by unexpected noise can attempt to leave the nest prematurely, unable to fly. (As witnessed at Smith mountain lake 2013)
    Besides which the other animals that live or lives around the site have and will continue to suffer loss of habitat and breeding areas. Kingfisher, Lapwing, Otter, Badger, Pine Marten, Red Squirrel and Bats. T in the Park is not so important to the exonomy of Scotland as its environment and biodiversity. Given the fairs of some high profile osprey nests due to natural causes this season it is imperative that man does not contribute again to the demise of this wonderful bird.

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