Seagulls: New action to halt damage

Seagulls around Scarborough. Picture by Richard Ponter 113547b
Seagulls around Scarborough. Picture by Richard Ponter 113547b

TOUGHER measures to tackle the issue of nuisance seagulls in Scarborough have been submitted to the council.

Network Rail is awaiting planning permission to install protective netting to the top of the Victorian railway station clock tower in Westborough.

The move comes as the Government announced plans to revisit a scrapped research project to find a permanent solution to dealing with the issue of the birds. Environment minister Richard Benyon has agreed to look at the research proposal from Bristol University “to see if it could deliver new measures to tackle the problem” once and for all.

Residents in Scarborough have complained that gull numbers have rocketed over the past year, which is likely due to a decision last year to outlaw the removal of eggs and nests.

Now fed-up Scarborough business owners have now urged the council to take a harder line against the aggressive birds.

Mike Hirst is the landlord of The Sun Inn, and believes the seagulls are “disgusting creatures”.

He said: “Every single day, one of the first jobs on the cleaning rota is to was off their mess from the benches outside.

“Every morning they wake me up at half five, and if the bins are not quite shut they will dive down and attack them for food.

“We don’t have songbirds in the town any more, and it’s because the gulls have ate them all. They even eat each other.”

The divisive issue of seagull control has raged on in the town for decades.

Many people support the act of culling gulls, with others feeling the measure to be too severe.

However, John Elliot, who is the manager of The Pantry on Bar Street, believes Scarborough Council need to re-introduce the controversial act to combat the rise in the birds numbers.

He said: “Culling was a good way of keeping their numbers down.

“They say you are never more than a few feet away from a rat, but it’s the same with gulls these days.”

“They cause a lot of damage and really the council needs to do something about it.”