New signs in Whitehaven aim to stop people feeding nuisance seagulls

  • Video report by Ryan Dollard.

New signs are being installed in Whitehaven which are urging residents and visitors not to feed seagulls.

Copeland Borough Council says the birds have been causing damage and creating a mess around the town.

The council, in partnership with Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners, will put a total of 20 signs asking people not to feed the birds.

Penalties could be issued against those who persistently cause a nuisance by feeding seagulls. 

Andy Pratt, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Health, said: “During the summer holidays, as visitors arrive in the town, and residents are out and about, we’re asking people not to feed the seagulls.

“When people feed these birds, they become a nuisance. It causes them to become too familiar, and even aggressive, with humans and they can damage property.

“Food fit for humans, isn’t necessarily good for animals, and they should not be deterred from reliance on their natural food sources.”

Seagull going through rubbish in Whitehaven. Credit: Gwen Backhouse

Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners has also installed seagull proof bins in support of the plea.

John Baker, Chief Executive, Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners, said: “As the town and harbour gets busier and busier, it is important that we all provide an excellent experience for all our communities and visitors.

“Part of that is for everyone to be able to come along and enjoy themselves whilst taking in the sights and sounds of our wonderful 400-year-old harbour.

“Seagulls are very much part of that sight and sound experience but the last thing we want to do is to encourage the seagulls to become a pest and then spoil the experience."