Torridge District Council is meeting tonight (Monday, April 8) to receive a petition to stop fireworks displays in Bideford.

The online petition was started by Rob Durrant after New Year’s Eve, for fear the loud bangs and harming the town’s starling population, which roosts under Bideford longbridge.

Event organisers have since said they would be happy to look at moving or changing the fireworks, but the petition has continued to gather pace.

It has been signed by more than 6,700 people and has received support from celebrities including Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan.

Bideford Town Council has already voted to support the petition, and called for a laser light display instead.

Mr Durrant claimed the fireworks dispays were ‘cruel’ and resulted in the ‘barbarous carnage of the starlings’.

Of the town council’s decision to support the petition, he said: “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.”

Out Of This World Events said they had moved the fireworks further away from the bridge than in previous years, and were open to suggestions.

Torridge District Council will receive the petition at its full countil meeting tonight (Monday, April 8) at 6.30pm in Bideford Town Hall.

In what could become a very wildlife-themed meeting, the council will also be discussing whether to place a condition on planning applications to protect hedgehogs.