Peterhead Councillor Welcomes Action on Urban Gull Problem

>> 11 March 2022

Peterhead South and Cruden councillor Stephen Smith has welcomed the measures agreed at yesterday’s meeting of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee to tackle the issue of urban gulls.

The move comes in response to continuing complaints relating to gulls from both coastal and inland communities including noise, aggressive behaviour, fouling and the feeding of gulls.

Currently, the council undertakes a range of measures including the use of birds of prey, treatment of buildings to prevent nesting and landing, a programme of egg and nest removal and increased waste and litter collections.

But under the new proposals agreed by members of the committee yesterday (Thursday), a 5-year action plan will be implemented supported by a budget of £250,000.

During the discussion, the committee heard that a review undertaken by a regional Urban Gull Stakeholder Group had established that there was no instant solution to alleviating the impact of gulls on Aberdeenshire communities, but rather a longer-term strategic approach was required to ensure any significant sustainable impact. The committee was also advised that for any such strategy to be successful there required to be a joint approach between council officers and local communities. Key elements of the action plan are as follows:

  • Profiling those areas significantly affected by gulls to identify and mitigate issues such as food sources, nesting sites, waste storage, littering and litter bin provision which are encouraging gulls to those areas
  • Accelerating the roll-out of gull deterrent bins
  • Engaging with local businesses to encourage good waste storage and prevent gulls access to food
  • Provision of financial support to local communities to encourage and support local strategies such as egg and nest removal, use of birds of prey
  • Providing Information and Guidance to Local Communities on how to manage/minimise the impact of gulls
Commenting, Cllr Stephen Smith said:

“This is a contentious issue and I’m aware that constituents hold a range of views on urban gulls ranging from seeking extermination to seeking to enhance their protection.

“I believe these measures are a proportionate response to the issues raised and include practical measures that can also assist communities and property owners to carry out egg and nest removal for example.”

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