A HAWK has been hailed as an asset to Workington town centre by its manager.

Bullet, a Harris hawk was drafted-in to Washington Square to help with its seagull and pigeon problem after the shopping centre received advice on reducing the pest population from Natural England.

The hope is that seeing the hawk and picking up its scent will deter pests. Town centre manager Richard Ashcroft said: “It makes regular visits, it certainly is making a difference.”

And he wanted to clarify what the bird does: “I think people misunderstood what was going to happen. It’s been here for the last few months. We get it up onto the roof with the handler. The handler puts it on her arm and walks around on the roof.”

The hawk is attached to a flying tether of 15 feet. Bullet visits Workington’s rooftops up to four times a month: “It’s already getting used to the surroundings.”

Mr Ashcroft said: “It is just a deterrent but it will prove more so during breeding season.”