How the council plans to tackle seagull 'nuisance'

Scarborough Borough Council talk about their herring gull dispersal programme. Cllr Bill Chatt meets NBC representative Steve Owen and perilaner falcon Jet. Picture byRichard Ponter 170822c.
Scarborough Borough Council talk about their herring gull dispersal programme. Cllr Bill Chatt meets NBC representative Steve Owen and perilaner falcon Jet. Picture byRichard Ponter 170822c.

The borough council is pressing ahead with plans to combat the nuisance of herring gulls at seafront locations in Whitby and Scarborough.

Trials conducted in 2017 were deemed to be “successful” and a programme of “disruption and dispersal” is now set to happen this year.

Gull food snatches have been a problem at seafront locations in Whitby and Scarborough. Picture: Ross Parry.

Gull food snatches have been a problem at seafront locations in Whitby and Scarborough. Picture: Ross Parry.

But the council is working closely to strict legislation and Cllr Bill Chatt, cabinet member for public health, insists that the measures are “about trying to achieve a more manageable situation.”

Public information days will be held this week where representatives from NBC Environment, the company carrying the programme on behalf of the council, will meet with the public to explain what the work involves.

The programme will see the removal of herring gull eggs and nests from buildings in selected areas and the use of birds of prey such as Harris Hawks and Falcons as deterrents.

It is just one of the initiatives employed by the council in a bid to combat the problems associated with gulls in coastal areas.

Cllr Chatt said: “The roadshows we held in 2017 were very successful, so we were keen to put them on again this year.

“They give us an opportunity to meet local residents, answer any questions they may have about the programme and most importantly, educate people about how changing human behaviour can make a positive difference.

He added: “These measures aren’t about changing the traditional image of the seaside; they’re about trying to achieve a more manageable situation where gulls and humans can live more contentedly side by side.”

The council now plans to work with NBC Environment and the RSPB to develop a programme of educational visits to schools later in the year as part of a longer term strategy to educate the area’s younger generation.

The Whitby Gazette and The Scarborough News have backed calls in the past to tackle the nuisance posed by many gulls, following a surge in food snatches from unsuspecting victims.

The information days are taking place at Filey Coble Landing on Wednesday morning, Dock End in Whitby on Wednesday afternoon and on Sandside in Scarborough near the

old police box all day on Thursday.