Birds of prey to tackle Yorkshire coast's problem gulls

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Hawks and falcons could be used to control the seagull population in Scarborough and Whitby.

Scarborough Council has pledged to spend £35,000 on a programme to neuter the birds' breeding.

The contract with bird control specialists NBC Environment would see nests removed and eggs destroyed to prevent population growth.

The work will target the herring gull colonies living in South Bay in Scarborough and Whitby Harbour, and will begin next month after councillors approved the plans.

Controlled hawk flights would also be introduced to deter the gulls from certain buildings.

Concerns have been raised that the gulls' anti-social behaviour - which has seen them attack people and steal food in an intimidating manner - could put tourists off visiting the coastal resorts.

Similar falconry schemes have already been trialled in other cities such as Plymouth and Bath.