TWO peregrine falcon chicks have hatched near the top of the former Thwaites tower.

Thwaites confirmed two chicks were born in a nest which was discovered in the spring and forced them to reschedule demolition work on the iconic landmark.

Birdspotter Gerard Raynor saw a male and female nesting near the iconic lettering on the brewery tower.

The 60-year-old, who has been a member of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for 30 years, told the Lancashire Telegraph he saw the falcons there at the start of April through his binoculars.

This prompted the brewery to inspect the site and a week later it confirmed three eggs had been found at the tower, facing Barbara Castle Way.

Thwaites announced the news in a tweet, however it has not confirmed if the third chick has hatched.

A Thwaites spokesman said: “We are delighted to announce the safe arrival of two chicks at the old brewery tower, where a peregrine falcon had made her nest.”

Work to clear the brewery site began earlier this year after its closure last summer.

The tower was initially scheduled to be knocked down this summer.

Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph when the eggs were found, Thwaites Estates director John Draper said: “We have always been very conscious of wildlife in the area and when we initially planned the demolition last year we did a thorough ecological survey.

“As soon as we were alerted to the reports of falcons we got the ecologist back to the site.

“We won’t do any work on the tower until the new chicks fly the nest and we have also delayed any work that involves cranes.

“The ecologist is putting a camera in place and we are looking forward to seeing them prepare for their new arrivals and for the chicks to hatch.”

A falcon was found in the same spot in February in 2009 by Thwaites regional sales manager Mike Jepson, a bird spotting enthusiast.

Peregrine falcons have full legal protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Nests and eggs are also protected and the law makes it an offence to take, damage or destroy the nest of a wild bird while it is in use or being built or to take or destroy the eggs.

It is thought around 1,500 breeding pairs of peregrine falcons currently live in the UK and have been drawn to cities and towns to feed on pigeons and other birds.