A MAN who was hit in the face by a startled pigeon in the town centre is calling on the council to cull the creatures.

Tom Jones was left bruised after being struck above his eye but was concerned that his wounds could have been much more severe.

The 61-year-old, from Blackpool, was visiting Victoria Square in his former home of Bolton on Thursday afternoon when the incident happened.

Now, he is looking for town hall bosses to reduce the number of pigeons in the centre of the borough and has asked passers-by to think before feeding the birds.

“We were in Bolton town centre and we were walking towards the new ice rink,” Mr Jones explained.

“I turned to look at the nativity scene and all of a sudden something bashed into my face. It hit me above the eye.

“Someone had been walking behind me and must have spooked them but I was really lucky not to be hurt more or hit in the eye.”

This Is Lancashire:

Living in Blackpool, the former social care worker knows how difficult nuisance birds can be and has had to deal with the large seagull population in the town.

But, he says the number of pigeons in Bolton will continue to be a problem while careless people leave food on the ground.

Mr Jones added: “I have noticed the number of pigeons in the town centre and I don’t want something like that to happen to someone else. I’m 61 and it knocked me for six so I don’t know what would happen to someone older.

“I have written a letter to the council asking them if they can do something to reduce the numbers.”

In response, a council spokesman said: “Pigeons are a nuisance throughout the country and people feeding them is one of the reasons why flocks do congregate around town centres. We sympathise with Mr Jones but there are no laws that the council can use to stop the public from feeding birds. We do use legal powers related to littering to discourage people from throwing food, and would also encourage the public to dispose of food carefully and use litterbins provided.”