Plans to dismantle a historic fountain have been delayed after doves were spotted nesting in the structure. 

March’s Coronation Fountain was due to be taken down next week, with work beginning on Monday, 27th June.

But contractors will now wait a few more weeks, Fenland District Council (FDC) says, until the young birds have left their next. 

A project spokesperson said: “As all bird’s nests are protected by law, we are postponing all work on the fountain until after the fledglings have left the nest.

“We don’t want to disturb the birds and will take any necessary steps to ensure they are protected.”

The century-old fountain is being dismantled so that it can be moved to a new location as part of a package of works aimed at regenerating the Fenland town. 

Currently situated between two lanes of traffic on Broad Street, it will be rebuilt on the pavement around 14 metres away.

The fountain will be kept in storage until the regeneration works are complete, which include building a roundabout at the fountain’s former spot. 

This means it could be out of view for the best part of a year as the Broad Street works are planned to continue until spring 2024. 

Moving the fountain, which was bought by the people of March to celebrate the coronation of King George V in 1911, was approved by FDC’s planning committee in February – but the plan was not without objection. 

March Society chair Jennifer Lawler told the committee that moving the fountain would be like moving the Arc de Triomphe – “it completely loses its impact”.

Local residents and businesses have also objected to the plan; the fountain’s new position will be in front of Mallets jewellers, raising concerns about the shop’s visibility. 

But FDC says that its regeneration works are “once in a lifetime”. 

The £8.4m project will see changes made to Broad Street, the Market Place and the Riverside. 

Broad Street will benefit from new pacing, bike racks, seating, planters and trees, while the new roundabout will improve congestion, FDC says. 

Similar improvements will be made at the Riverside, while dead trees will be removed and moorings will be repaired.

Works on the Market Place are complete; these included new sandstone and cobbled paving, changing the layout of the car park and introducing electric vehicle charging points. 

FDC is also running a scheme to encourage businesses to take up vacant units in March with grants available up to £25,000.