CARDIGAN’S town Christmas tree, which due to Covid-19 restrictions continues to stand alongside the Guildhall four months after going up, has been taken over by a group of feathered squatters.

Cllr Yvonne O’Neill suspects woodpigeons are nesting among its branches and may yet thwart belated attempts by the town council to take the tree down.

“Some people have said it’s good to have some greenery in town,” she told colleagues as this week’s virtual meeting of the council. “And there are now woodpigeons in that tree – I myself have heard them.”

Town mayor Cllr Clive Davies confessed the apparent presence of woodpigeons was news to him.

“The tree isn’t green anymore,” he told Cllr O’Neill. “It’s turned brown and its needles are falling off.”

“As far as woodpigeons are concerned we will check things out before bringing the tree down.”

Cllr Davies also confirmed that Cllr Richard Jones would be supervising the tree’s removal.

“It’s been there so long now that you may as well leave it up until next Christmas and all the Christmas lights as well,” joked Cllr Jones.

Cllr Davies replied that Covid-19 restrictions had meant Cardigan was one of a number of towns whose Christmas trees had remained in place long after the end of the festive season.

Speaking on Wednesday, Cllr Davies said that as far as he was concerned, the woodpigeons’ nest continued to remain elusive, although several of the birds were roosting in the upper branches.

“I’ve asked it to be checked before they take it down,” he said. “If there is a nest then the focus can switch to removing the Christmas lights for the time being.

“Going forward, Yvonne will then be able to keep an eye on the nest for the town council and work with the clerk in getting approved contractors to move the birds if necessary according to the Wildlife Act.

“Yvonne has kindly agreed to look after the birds if there is indeed a nest.”