A businessman is thrilled with the success of an invention that prevents birds from pooing on offshore wind turbines.

Terry Christie, who lives in Haltwhistle, is the inventor of 'Scaretech' - an innovative scarecrow system designed to prevent the costly issue of seabird droppings called 'guano' on offshore wind farms. And an invention that came unexpectedly. 

"I and my team were heading home on a vessel after a visit of a wind turbine when someone noticed a familiar high visibility PPE colour on the now distant offshore wind turbine they’d been working on," Terry said.

"We thought that someone had been left behind so the vessel returned to the wind turbine to find it was a forgotten high-vis protective jacket – not a man.

"Interestingly the area around the abandoned jacket was the only place seagulls weren’t landing within the proximity.

"Using this intelligence and the age-old scarecrow concept I decided to develop the Scaretech device along with offshore engineer Paddy Armstrong."

READ OUR MOST POPULAR ARTICLE: Northumberland Council promises tax rebate will be paid as soon as possible

'Guano’ is a huge problem for the global offshore wind industry as it poses a serious health risk, due to its highly carcinogenic qualities, and is extremely expensive and unpleasant to remove.

In July 2019, a ‘Scaretech’ system was installed on the substation at Galloper Offshore Wind Farm, 27km off the Suffolk coast, which in the last 12 months has reduced guano on the structure from approximately 50-60 per cent.

Kieron Drew, interim operations and maintenance manager at Galloper, said: “There is an abundance of seabass around our Galloper site which attracts large numbers of seabirds which these, in turn, generate significant quantities of guano.

“We were looking for a solution and, after considering more expensive options, decided to trial Scaretech.

"Once we installed, we saw dramatic reductions in the amount of guano. The problem is now almost non-existent.

"It’s been a fantastic asset and has saved us a considerable amount in clean-up costs and technician time.”

Mr Christie added: "Scaretech works beyond everyone’s expectations and we now plan to launch a low-cost monthly rental option to enable the offshore sector to benefit from this proven solution."