Bideford Town Council has received a petition with more than 6,700 signatures calling on fireworks in the town to move away from the bridge.

The petition was started after the New Year’s Eve fireworks display, when resident Rob Durrant feared for the starlings roosting under the old longbridge.

Mr Durrant started a petition which quickly gathered pace and received support from celebrities including Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan.

On Thursday (March 7) Bideford Town Council received the petition, which has had some 6,715 people sign their name to it.

Councillor Peter Christie had also tabled a motion that the council investigates what action could be taken to mitigate this issu’.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Durrant said members voted to inform organisers that a laser show would be preferred in place of fireworks.

He said: “Various options were floated, including laser show, noiseless fireworks, combination of lasers and quiet fireworks, no fireworks.

“There was immediate strong support for stopping loud fireworks.

“Councillors suggested a laser show as a new and up-to-date way of celebrating NYE, which it was hoped would be a better and more modern way of doing things and attract more people back into Bideford.”

He added: “Naturally, I am extremely happy that the council has taken very serious notice of the petition and the growing support for it.

“I was surprised and delighted to come away with more than I had expected; and to know that the council are determined to respect the starlings, other wildlife, pets and their owners, as well as vulnerable people who have all found the loud fireworks displays of recent years very troubling.

“I am greatly encouraged by the present strong environmentally-friendly ethos in the council, and that in doing this they are setting a great example to the watching world.”

New Year’s Eve organisers Out of the World Events said when the petition started they would be happy to consider alternative options.

Torridge District Council is set to receive the petition at its full council meeting on April 8.