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Action call on gull problem

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Action call on gull problem

‘EFFECTIVE and efficient’ action is needed to tackle spiralling gull problems in Annan and the wider region.

That’s the view of two councillors, who have lodged a motion with Dumfries and Galloway Council calling for the issue to be better addressed.

Willie Scobie and Tommy Sloan say gull infestations are affecting the whole of the area, from Stranraer to Annan.

The pair claim the birds are causing all sorts of problems and seriously affecting the mental health of many residents locally.

Their motion, which will be discussed at a meeting of the full council in Dumfries next week, reads: “The council needs to have an effective and efficient work plan in each of the four areas to deal with the serious gull infestation problems and as gulls are a protected species, call on the Scottish Government to make available expertise and financial resources to tackle what can only be described as a problem of epidemic proportions in Dumfries and Galloway.”

Annan Community Council chairman Allan Weild says his group receives regular complaints from those living in the town and have discussed the matter at their meetings.

He highlighted the Stapleton and Welldale areas as particularly affected by noise, nesting and disruption and said: “We thought the clearing of the Stapleton Road depot would have sorted it, it was

a big problem. I do not think it has got any better.

“We would back action by the council, I think they need to do something now.”

Meanwhile, Annan residents have been sharing their firsthand experiences living alongside the birds.

Keiran Barker said: “They are a nuisance, they are everywhere and make so much noise and mess, it’s ridiculous.

“Many times they’ve been attacking smaller birds on our bird feeders.”

And Kirsty Hindley added: “They have nested for the last three years on the property at the back of my house. The noise means I cannot sit in my back garden, the mess means my washing gets splattered, the damage they do to guttering etc.

“There needs to be something done to remove them when nesting, although I have seen nests removed and they rebuild. There needs to be a plan put in place to help all residents affected, and law needs to change about the protection of them.”

Ross Hunt said: “I have personally been in contact with the correct people to see about a cull but again they are protected for some strange and stupid reason.”

However, Mark McDougall took a different view and said: “If we stopped destroying the oceans with trawlers, then seagulls wouldn’t be forced inland to beg for scraps and thousands of Guillemots that have starved to death wouldn’t be washing up on beaches around the UK daily. Perhaps it’s humans who should be culled?”