Huddersfield’s ever resourceful peregrine falcons have found a new nesting site ahead of the demolition of their favoured home, the town’s last remaining gas holder.

A breeding pair have nested 120ft up on the gas holder for three or four years but this year they’ve made the switch to a nearby mill building.

Huddersfield Hub has reported how Northern Gas Networks planned to dismantle the rusting steel gas holder and clear the site, just off Leeds Road.

Northern Gas Networks had supported a local couple, Liz Payne and Ian Fletcher, in keeping the birds safe.

The company provided a nesting tray and paid for a camera to provide live images and watch over the birds as they hatched their eggs and raised their chicks.

Liz and Ian (pictured below) run a Facebook group called Huddersfield Peregrines which follows their progress.

The nesting tray is still on the gas holder but this year, for whatever reason, the birds decided to nest nearby instead.




Liz said: “Peregrines return to the same breeding site every year but there’s no guarantee the nest is always in the same place.

“They nested on the gas holder for three years, then had a year away on a mill and came back. This year they have found quite a precarious position on the window ledge of a nearby mill.”

As there’s no camera, it’s difficult to keep track of what’s happening in the nest, however Liz said: “We have chicks but we don’t know how many.”

It’s not known, of course, why the peregrines decided to nest away from the gas holder this year though Liz has a theory.

“Last year it was so hot and the nest is exposed to the full sun on the gas holder,” she said. “There is no shade so maybe they remembered that and decided to move.”

A watch will be kept over the birds this year, meanwhile Northern Gas Networks has sealed off the gas holder site pending planning permission for the demolition.

The remaining buildings on the site, including for the former Gas Club, are to be demolished later this year with the gas holder itself due to come down in January and February 2025.

The site will be filled in and sold on the open market for potential development.


Date is set for demolition of Huddersfield’s iconic gasholder and former Gas Club