A pub landlord has decided against reopening his doors on July 4 – the first day they’re legally allowed to trade after lockdown – after making an unusual discovery in his garden.
Boris Johnson has eased coronavirus restrictions for non-essential businesses such as pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cafes as part of phase three of a four-stage reopening plan, and has reduced social distancing measures to “one metre plus.”
But the Volunteer Tavern in Bristol plan to delay their reopening for the most heartwarming reason, reports Bristol Post.
Staff discovered a bird nest in their beer garden and because they didn’t want to disturb it, they will not be opening their doors this weekend.
Pub owner Peter Gibbs said: “Earlier this year a bird made a nest up on the roof of the pub but sadly its eggs were attacked by a magpie a few days later.
“So we think that same bird was looking for a new place to make its nest.
“Our garden is usually packed with people but as the pub’s been closed for the past three months, she must have thought it seemed like a very protected and peaceful area to build a new nest.
“A few days after spotting the bird in the garden, the member of staff who discovered her went back to find three blue speckled eggs which look like they’re not far from hatching.”
Peter, 30, who opened the pub nine years ago, had a team meeting outlining the new measures Boris has put in place, and the wellbeing of the bird named ‘Mama Mint’ by staff and her babies was considered the “most emotive” aspect.
“Even when we were having our socially distanced meeting in the garden we realised it was pretty much impossible to stand anywhere and not be too close to Mama Mint.
“We decided that if we’re so worried about disturbing her when there’s only 10 of us in the garden, how are we going to open the pub up to the public and keep people away from her?
“One thing we’re proud of here is that people from all walks of life feel safe in our pub, and we think it’s amazing that nature has that view as well as humans.
“It would be so lovely for the eggs to hatch in the garden, and ensuring Mama Mint can do that safely is our main priority.”
Peter also explained that although he wants the bird to feel safe, he still feels it’s too soon to be reopening the pub even with the enforced social distancing rules.
He said that the safety and wellbeing of his staff is “far more important than profit.”
Instead he will continue to monitor how the pandemic develops across the UK, and reassess the situation at a later date.