An attempt by T in the Park bosses to discourage ospreys from returning to their nest at the festival’s new Strathallan home has been criticised by a leading wildlife charity.
T in the Park promoters DF Concerts are flying a Saltire from on top of a cherry picker festooned with CDs in a bid to deter ospreys from returning to their nest at Strathallan Castle Estate.
Two ospreys have regularly used the nest but its proximity to the main stage at T in the Park means organisers want them to move to a new nest site further away.
If they return to their nest then critics claim the festival will not be able to go ahead because of the “buffer zone” needed to protect the birds.
But the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds said DF Concerts may be committing a criminal offence and attempting to scare the ospreys from their nest is “far and away not best practice”.
A spokesman said: “If birds are deterred from the old nest and they don’t go to the new one, that could be classed as a disturbance, which is a criminal offence.”
However, a spokeswoman for DF Concerts said: ““Removing the existing weather-damaged nest entirely would be our preferred approach, as well as that of the RSPB.
“Despite our best efforts, so far the landowner has not allowed us access to the area that holds that nest. Although disappointing, we still hope that they will reconsider.
“In the meantime, we’ve done the next best thing created a new nest, which is undamaged and in an optimum location. Our priority is to make sure that delicate measures are in place to encourage the birds to take up home in this nest that has been specially built for them only a short distance away.
“We will also continue to carefully monitor the surrounding habitat.”
The Strathallan T Action Group, which is campaigning against the festival, said on Twitter:
— Strathallan'T'ag (@STactiongroup) March 23, 2015
Last week police were called out to the estate because of a “suspicious” vehicle seen near the osprey nest.
Police said the vehicle had been carrying out survey work for DF Concernts.
Strathallan was chosen as the new home for T in the Park after it was decided its previous home at Balado was no longer safe because of an underground gas pipe.
Although tens of thousands of revellers are expected to attend this year’s T in the Park the festival does not yet have planning permission.
Perth and Kinross Council is expected to make a final decision in May.