Council submitting application to try and control number of gulls in Bath

Urban gulls are a common sight in and around Bath. Credit: PA images

An application to control the population of gulls in urban areas is being submitted by Bath & North East Somerset Council.

People who have had bad experiences with gulls in BANES area are being asked to share their experiences.

The council is gathering evidence about the effect urban gulls can have on people as part of its application to Natural England for a licence to control gull populations.

Under the current regulations, herring gulls and lesser black backed gulls are protected by law. It is illegal to injure the birds, their eggs, or their nests without permission.

But the council wants to change that and needs to demonstrate that action is needed for reasons of public health or safety.

So people living in the area are being asked to submit their experiences of living amongst urban gulls, and have until the end of March to do so.

Due to declining numbers in rural areas, Natural England's approach to licensing in urban areas became stricter in 2020 and previous applications by BANES Council to have more control of the population have been refused.

Councillor Paul Crossley, cabinet member for Community Services, said: “Gulls in our cities and towns can cause pose a risk to public health and safety, creating a health risk through fouling.

"Their nest debris can block pipes and guttering, which attracts parasites and increases building maintenance costs. We want to mitigate the impact of gulls on our residents and businesses and have been looking for a solution since our licence from Natural England was not renewed.

“We are looking for information from residents about whether they have suffered ill-effects from gull activity. Perhaps you have been attacked by a gull or your health has been affected from living near areas where gulls are particularly active.

"This is going to be really useful information that will help us tackle gull issues effectively in the near future, so please share your experiences with us.”

If the council is successful in securing a licence, it is hoped treatments could begin in May and residents will be able to book their own treatments online.

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