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Hull's East Park: Nesting bird 'costs ride operator thousands'

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107874519 splashboat - Hull's East Park: Nesting bird 'costs ride operator thousands'

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David Brown/Geograph

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The splash boat ride was built in 1929 but is currently out of action

A water ride has missed out on thousands of pounds in takings since it was closed in April due to a nesting coot, its operator has said.

It was thought the splash boat attraction at East Park, Hull, would be shut for about six weeks but the bird’s nest is still on the ride’s tracks.

Mally Welburn, who owns the attraction, said: “We are not getting any money and we can take £900 on a good day.”

The attraction cannot be opened for fear of endangering the birds.

‘Miserable as sin’

Coots, which are close relatives of the moorhen, are protected under wildlife laws, making it illegal to disturb them while nesting.

Mr Welburn, who says the ride’s eight operators are currently not being paid, believes two clutches of eggs have already been destroyed in the nest.

“It’s nature, the birds all nest round the park. Most are hidden but this one has her nest right at the bottom of the chute on the tracks.

“I can see she’s as miserable as sin having lost her eggs. I think it would be kinder to her to move the nest, but it’s a criminal offence.”

A special licence would be needed to move the bird.

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Google

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The splash boat at East Park has been providing thrills to visitors since 1929

“In April I hoped it would all be over in a month. It’s the school holidays and we could still be sat here talking at the end of September,” he said.

Mr Welburn, who also owns the 130-acre park’s train and pedal boats, said Hull City Council had reduced by a third the money he pays the authority.

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