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By Fiona Reid

SEAGULL nests are to be targeted in Dumfries once again, as an annual clearance programme gears up.

Dumfries and Galloway Council’s gull and nest removal service will be available to all residential and commercial premises in Dumfries and Heathhall from the beginning of May, although nest and egg removals might not take place until the middle of the month.
The Urban Gull Taskforce, which has been independently monitoring the gull situation in Dumfries, said: “Since 2009, the rearing of young gulls in the town has been reduced by an average of 86 per cent each year.
In 2014, the numbers of adult ó four year of age or older ó gulls returning to Dumfries to breed declined considerably.
“Without the efforts of the council to manage the gull problem, it is highly likely that the population of breeding gulls would be significantly higher than it is today.”
The scheme has been hailed by Councillor Colin Smyth ó chairman of the council’s economy, environment and infrastructure committee.
Councillor Smyth said: “The nest and egg removal scheme has provided some respite for many people and I’m pleased it is being repeated again, albeit given the fact that gulls are long-lived birds it will clearly take some time before it has a long-term impact.”
He added: “I would urge people troubled with nesting birds to take advantage of the free nest and egg removal scheme but also that this is a scheme provided voluntarily by the council and the council do need the property owner’s permission to remove eggs and nests.”
Anyone can report a nest online by visiting and clicking on the ‘report it’ button, or by calling 030 33 33 3000.
Gulls might relay up to three times after their eggs have been removed and therefore premises may have to be visited four times


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