Gulls debate

I fully support Cllr Andrew Jenkinson’s call for a cull of seagulls in Scarborough.

There is no denying that seagulls are an important part of the environment around our coasts. But they have no natural predators and are creating their nests further and further away from their natural habitat (cliffs) due to the sheer weight of their numbers. As a result, Scarborough residents are having to put up with seagulls nesting on the roofs of their homes as far inland as Falsgrave and other built-up residential areas.

The seagull cry is part and parcel of the seaside experience for visitors and residents alike. However, it is a completely different matter if you are woken at 4am with seagulls and their chicks shrieking on your rooftop, as they do. There are many well-documented examples of seagulls swooping down to snatch food from the hands of visitors and residents alike; the mess they make in areas meant for humans is foul and disgusting.

Seagulls are “protected” so they cannot be shot or poisoned (unlike feral pigeons, also a Scarborough menace) and it is illegal to disturb a seagull nest until the young birds have fledged. So the only realistic control on their numbers is by way of a cull through the removal of eggs from nests. It should also be made an offence for anyone to feed seagulls (they’ve done it in parts of Cornwall) – there seems to be a number of uninformed or anti-social people who think it’s “fun” to feed seagulls!

I am a bird lover and support the work of the RSPB, however enough is enough and the seagull population in Scarborough must be controlled.

Tony Green