A bird enthusiast has branded Sutton Council "absurd" after she was issued an £80 fine for feeding pigeons.

Sarah Argrave, of Wallington, was accused of littering after scattering a small amount of feed in Trinity Square, High Street.

The 39-year-old, who runs Surrey animal rescue shelter Starlight Trust, claimed the authority wanted to "wage a war against pigeons".

Mrs Argrave was slapped with the fine by a council litter cop who saw her feeding the birds on July 12.

She said: "It’s absolutely absurd. We’re a little rescue charity and campaign for animal welfare, I’m the last person who would litter.

“I can understand if I dropped a loaf on down and every time I explained to them what I was doing they weren’t interested in what I had to say. They said to me that I could put it all it in writing.

“I feel the council wants to wage a war against the pigeons and that they want to gentrify the high street.”

The fine was later rescinded after the Sutton Guardian contacted the council for a statement on Thursday, July 14.

In a letter to Mrs Argrave on Tuesday, Jan Gransden, group manager of enforcement at the council, said: "In Sutton High Street pigeons have become a nuisance caused by excessive droppings which are not only unsightly, but can cause problems by making pavements slippery, particularly in wet weather and result in increased street cleansing costs for the council.

“I have reviewed the circumstances of this case and on this occasion the Council is prepared to cancel the fixed penalty notice."

She added: “However I must stress that this a 'one off' cancellation and any future fixed penalty notices issued to anyone for feeding pigeons by dropping bird feed on the ground will not be rescinded.

“The council would urge any people undertaking welfare or rescue work and using feeding to attract injured birds, to contact either the council or Successful Sutton beforehand in order to prevent further fixed penalty notices being issued under similar circumstances.”

Should people be fined for feeding pigeons? Email your views to letters@suttonguardian.co.uk or post a comment below