Urban rooster bringing a touch of the country to South London falls ‘fowl’ of neighbours

A vocal cockerel's wake-up calls are one of the unmistakeable sounds of country life — but it seems that the wake-up call is less than welcome in an urban environment.

For many, the crowing of a rooster is a joyful sound — the heralding of a new day with a cheerful cock-a-doodle-doo. But for a neighbourhood in south London, the cockerel’s cry is anything but welcome.

For around two weeks a noisy bird has been ruffling feathers in Selhurst, Croydon, and he isn’t showing signs of quieting down.

The urban environment is an unlikely setting for poultry patter, but this cockerel seems perfectly at home in the city, rising at around 5.30am to the disdain of his neighbours.

One local resident has even threatened to leave the area.

‘I’ve lived here for 11 years and never have I ever come across something so ridiculous as this,’ she said. ‘If it doesn’t stop then I’ll have to move out. I can’t put up with this every day.’

Good morning? Not everyone enjoys the cockerels crow.

Another neighbour told the Evening Standard it was a bit of a mystery.

‘At first I just laughed and thought I was imagining it,’ she said. ‘Then I’ve heard it again the last few mornings and it’s really loud.’

A third found the noise ‘extremely annoying’.

‘The children have been waking up super early, and haven’t been able to get back to sleep,’ they said.

It is not illegal to keep a cockerel in built-up areas, but owners must ensure the noise does not ’cause a statutory nuisance to others’.

Not everyone is fed up with the chatty chicken, with some neighbours enjoying the touch of countryside charm he brings to city life.

‘It’s like an alarm clock and gives you the feeling of being in the countryside but in an urban area like Croydon,’ one commented.

Last month, Country Life reported on a potential French law to protect the countryside’s most integral sounds from unreasonable complaints.

We said we’d quite like to see this sort of legislation in the UK, but we’re not sure it could stretch to the streets of Croydon…