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Thursday, March 23, 2017

County to swoop in on ways to tackle seagull problems

Denbighshire County Council is to investigate a raft of measures to tackle issues with seagulls across the county.

The authority will also work on a major public awareness, education and enforcement campaign.

Whilst seagulls are seen by many as being a nuisance due to public safety, noise, damage and littering issues, there are limitations to what actions are open to the council to control and manage the seagull population.

Members of Denbighshire’s Communities Scrutiny Committee, meeting in County Hall, Ruthin today (Thursday) supported recommendations to  explore a number of options to reduce issues with seagulls in the county.

One of the key suggestions was to arrange a campaign to educate people not to feed gulls, to look at the possibility of introducing a by-law to ban such activity and to work with businesses and residents on preventative measures that could be taken.

Other suggestions included:

·         The introduction of a variety of methods to “scare”birds in certain problem areas
·         The introduction of netting/ bunting over public spaces
·         To discourage birds from perching on street furniture such as lamp-posts
·         To adapt existing Council  buildings to help make them seagull proof
·         To reduce availability of waste food through the Council refuse collection

Graham Boase, Head of Denbighshire Planning and Public Protection, said: “The council receives complaints from residents and visitors about the seagulls issue on a regular basis and it is an issue that’s causing us real concern.

“The situation is not unique to Denbighshire by any means and there are no simple quick fixes. We have tried innovative solutions to try and address the issue, but we cannot do it without support from the public.

“Many seagulls are protected and we need to be mindful that many see them as being an integral and traditional part of our coastal communities.

“What we want to see is a change in people’s behaviour so that gulls are not fed from food and refuse left on our streets.  This would certainly help our position, but one size does not fit all and we will need to work on a raft of options to hopefully make a difference."

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