Could cannons be used to help tackle seagull ‘menace’?

Cannons could be used to scare off Scarborough’s seagulls.

Friday, 5th December 2014, 1:05 pm
Seagull menace on the seafront.Picture Richard Ponter 133113e

That was one of the radical proposals put forward at a meeting of fed-up traders and councillors, over what realistically can be done about the town’s gulls.

Other plans include getting children to draw posters to deter the public from feeding the birds.

Campaigning councillor Andrew Jenkinson said the explosive cannon proposal is inspired by Edinburgh’s ‘one o’clock gun’, and traders think it’s a sure fire way of sending the birds packing.

Councillor Andrew Jenkinson shelters from a seagull splattering under Spa Bridge, he is calling for a sea gull cull 133109a

“In Edinburgh they don’t have the problem with seagulls, and they have a cannon firing off at 1pm,” said Newby’s representative.

“We could do it at noon instead and it might work really well.”

Edinburgh Castle’s ‘one o’clock gun’ dates back to 1864, and has become a near-daily tourist attraction in the Capital.

However, it wasn’t designed to frighten off feathered flocks - instead sailors working on ships in the Firth of Forth used to help keep time as a precursor to watches.

But it’s felt the loud bang would startle the birds, and force them back from the land, after complaints that growing numbers of divebombing gulls were proving a “menace” in the town.

The gull debate has proved a divisive topic in recent years, although traders branded 2014 “the worst year to date” for issues such as divebombing.

A poll by The Scarborough News found that the overwhelming majority of the public wanted some form of action taken against the birds, although for legal reasons, an outright cull is off the cards.

However, despite the apparent resentment towards the birds, those wanting actions against the gulls failed to flock to Wednesday’s meeting.

But despite the low turnout, Cllr Jenkinson added: “Everybody who attended was singing from the same hymn sheet.

“Nobody turned up who was against some sort of action, and we all agreed that there were issues such as the lack of clean bins, that need addressing ASAP.”

The meeting was held at The Newcastle Packet, and the seafront pub will again host a meeting on January 7.

And in the New Year, the seagull debate is understood to be returning to Scarborough Town Hall, where the venue will host an all day meeting.

Experts from the various fields associated with gull welfare and protection will be on hand to discuss just what exactly can be done in Scarborough.