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Seagulls problem easing

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Dumfries and West
Seagulls problem easing

THE seagull season is about to begin – but Dumfries and Galloway Council chiefs are optimistic there will be less chaos on streets across the region this year.

The local authority has spent its full £84,000 budget dedicated to combating the problem of aggressive, divebombing seagulls, and proposals are now on the table to continue these preventative measures in future years.

A gull action plan implemented in recent years, including the appointment of a dedicated gulls officer and gull-proofing hotspot buildings across the region, appears to be bearing fruit.

A report produced for councillors reads: “The effectiveness of the action plan has been assessed by comparing the number of complaints received about nuisance gulls in 2023/24 against the number received before the action plan was introduced.

“In 2021/22, the year prior to the action plan, there were 158 complaints received about nuisance gulls. This dropped to 97 in 2022/23 and has dropped further this year, with only 39 complaints received as of 21 March 2024.

“This suggests that the activities in the plan are effective, although avian flu may also have had an impact as there have been several outbreaks in the UK during this period.”

Over the past year, the authority has spent £42,000 on additional gull-proof bins, £2000 on gull-proof sacks, £10,000 on vehicle costs, and £30,000 on egg and nest removals and gull-proofing buildings.

In 2021, an officer was employed dedicated to the gulls issue, handling complaints from the public, and assisting businesses and residents with advice on applying for a licence through NatureScot to deal with nuisance gulls.

Similar preventative activities will be continued in future years.

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