Wildlife enthusiasts and ornithologists across the UK have successfully called a halt to the proposed cropping of Bill Bailey’s wild, straggly beard which had been earmarked for scrubbing sometime in early spring.
A team of volunteers from Toni and Guys were forced to stand down at the last minute as an injunction preventing the beautification of the beard arrived with just seconds to spare.
Bill’s beard had already been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) by the Countryside Agency back in 2004 and it is now hoped UNESCO will step in to include Bill on the World Heritage list.
‘Bill meets seven out of the ten criteria needed to qualify for inclusion on next year’s list. We’re just waiting to see if Bill is subject to potential earthquake damage or tidal erosion before we make a final decision but things are looking good so far’ said a spokesperson from UNESCO
If Bill is successful, we could see him rubbing shoulders with such iconic landmarks as The Great Wall of China, The Sydney Opera House and hopefully The Great Barrier Reef.
'It's certainly good news for birds and it's good news for us twitters too' said one delighted RSPB member from a hide in The Forest of Dean 'for years now, Bill has been directly under the flight path of thousands of migratory birds heading south for the winter. They use Bill’s unkempt beard for foraging, navigation or roosting overnight and in recent years it has become a haven for several endangered species. And because it has been severely neglected over the years it is now teeming with insects and small rodents, so important in the food chain.
Although Bill is often found covered from head to toe in faecal droppings and regurgitated fur balls the birds have seemingly adapted well to their new environment without it being too much of a problem for them.
Bill was last seen being pursued by a posse of cameramen across the wetlands of Burnham on Crouch.
However, it was not the paparazzi looking for a witty response to the award but a delegation from the Braintree ‘Twitter Watch and Tweet Society' (TWATS) hoping to catch a glimpse of a pair of fledgling Essex Shag spotted mating for the first time in Bill’s beard.
‘These birds are extremely rare’ Bill confided ‘in fact, we’ve never actually come across a pair of virgin Essex Shags before. Have you?’