Why specially-trained hawks are being introduced to tackle Devon's seagull problem

It is hoped the hawks will scare gulls out of an area and deter them from returning Credit: PA Images

Specially-trained hawks will help manage Ilfracombe's 'messy' and 'aggressive' seagulls, after North Devon Council secured funding for the project.

Those behind the initiative say it is a humane and environmentally-friendly way of dealing with the gulls and the litter they create.

It is hoped the hawks will help tackle the issue by scaring the gulls out of an area and deter them from returning.

The council will be working with the North Devon Falconry after the money was secured through the government's Welcome Back Fund.

Ilfracombe harbourmaster Georgina Carlo-Paat said: "Gulls have become a real problem in Ilfracombe, with the litter they create and aggressive behaviour towards people in the town.

"We don't want to harm the gulls but we do want to reduce their numbers and the problems they bring to the town and its residents and visitors."

The hawks will be seen flying around the harbour and seafront over the next few weeks.