Scarborough Council to spend £36k on 'nuisance gulls'

Herring gulls Credit: PA

Scarborough Borough Council is spending £36,500 appointing a 'specialist contractor' to deal with the 'nuisance' local herring gull population.

A one year 'disruption and dispersal programme' is to be launched targeting the problem in selected areas on the North Yorkshire coast. It will be carried out by NBC Environment, focusing on seafront and town centre locations in Scarborough and Whitby.

It could begin in March and would involve the removal of herring gull eggs and nests from buildings in the selected areas and the use of birds of prey such as Harris hawks and falcons to deter and scare away gulls.

Chris Collett, from the RSPB, said gulls were a natural part of coastal life, but recognised they can be a problem.

He said: "The most effective way to deal with the issue is to reduce the availability of food. As a result, we strongly discourage anyone from feeding gulls and would advise councils to provide 'gull proof' public litter bins.

"Unless food availability is reduced any 'vacancies' created by dispersing existing gulls will simply be filled by other gulls moving in."