A pair of peregrine falcons have set up home at Greenwich's landmark clocktower - but snap-happy birdspotters are being urged to keep away.

The rare birds - which are granted special legal protection - have been spied by several eager onlookers at the Royal Hill site in recent months.

And nest site monitor John Chapman from the London Peregrine Protection Partnership - a voluntary group set up top preserve the capital's creatures - confirmed they had been there since last year.

He told News Shopper: "They were there last year but they were only young birds. But they stayed there right through the winter and they're still there this year."

Mr Chapman, who also looks after a breeding pair in Lewisham and a further two in Eltham, said: "It's nice to know we've got a pair in Greenwich.

"They laid three eggs this year. They are all fertile but because there wasn't enough substrate up there to for them to nest in, they all rolled around and broke.

"The building manager and myself, we've put somewhere for them to nest. We're hoping that next year they'll breed again."

News Shopper:

Under UK law, it is a criminal offence to intentionally or recklessly kill, injure or take a peregrine.

The birds, which often occupy high-rise buildings, are more likely to be threatened by disturbance to their nest sites and Mr Chapman is warning people not to try and take photos of the birds or go near them.

Recently, a pair also disrupted a party at Battersea Power Station, though it is not believed upgrades to Greenwich's own Borough Halls would be similarly affected by the area's new residents.