Hawk hired by Westminster council to scare off Soho seagulls

A Harris Hawk at London Kings Cross Station, which is used to scare off pigeons.
Hawks have been used at a number of locations in London to control wildlife

Westminster City Council is hiring a hawk to help scare off seagulls and prevent them nesting in part of Soho.

The gulls are often seen in central London because they nest around Kemp House on Berwick Street.

But the birds bring with them a string of problems including noise, mess and disease which means the council had to act.

"Westminster City Council is to employ a hawk as part of our ongoing efforts to stop seagulls from nesting on and around Kemp House," said Raj Mistry, Executive Director of Environment and City at Westminster City Council.

"These birds of prey are trained to scare, and not kill, other birds that can be a pest for people living and working nearby.

"As well as being extremely noisy, gulls also create a mess in their search for food, and their excrement can spread diseases, such as salmonella," Mr Mistry explained.

The latest measures come in addition to the installation of spikes and netting already being use to help clear up the area.

Hawks have been used at King's Cross station and the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon to hep control wildlife.