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Gulls branded 'muggers of the seaside'

They're as much a feature of the seaside as fish and chips or sticks of rock, but seagulls have now been dubbed "muggers" of our coastal towns ahead of a top level summit in Scarborough today.

Credit: Press Association

There's been growing concern about the birds causing mess, and even dive-bombing locals and tourists in Scarborough, Whitby and Filey.

Now civic leaders are to meet with conservationists, pest controllers and seaside traders to work out what, if anything, can be done to limit the nuisance.

Herring gulls and kittiwakes are protected by law and in the case of herring gulls, can only be culled if they are posing a proven risk to public health and safety.

Scarborough Council officials say birds nesting in the towns can cause a variety of problems including "excessive noise and sleep deprivation; fouling by droppings and regurgitated food; litter and mess from scavenging; attacks by parent birds; damage to property; blockage of gas flues; and mugging or stealing food."

Report: Seagull cull campaign

There is controversy in Scarborough over calls to cull seagulls which have been branded a menace to public safety.

There is a growing campaign to limit the numbers by destroying the eggs. Conservationists and some locals disagree, though, and say far from being pests, the birds are part of the rich mix that makes life on the coast so special. Claire Ashforth reports.


Facebook feedback on plans to cull seagulls

Facebook feedback on seagull culling plans Credit: PA

Neil Vary: Keep the seagulls. Cull the councillors they do more damage.

Jane Sharp: It's the seaside, the sea side without seagulls is like the seaside without fish n chips, come on leave the birds alone.

Rosalina Kennedy: Birds have been around a lot longer than man... therefore they were here first and it is us humans that are a menace!

Pictures: Has Scarborough been taken over by seagulls?

There are fresh calls today for the people of Scarborough to reclaim their streets, following fears that the resort has been taken over by seagulls. One local councillor has called for the birds to be culled, others are suggesting its the Councillors that the town could do without.

Seagulls on the beach in Scarborough Credit: Calendar
People enjoying the Scarborough sunshine Credit: Calendar
Scarborough seagulls on the beach Credit: Calendar

Calls for seagull cull

One of Scarborough's seagulls Credit: Press Association

There is controversy in Scarborough over calls for a cull of the local seagulls.

Councillor Andrew Jenkinson is concerned that the growing numbers of birds may start to deter visitors from coming to the town. The local council used to control the population of roof-nesting herring gulls.

Traders have also expressed their concern at the birds dive bombing potential customers. But the RSPB says a cull should only be carried out "as a last resort."