Garden is no go area as gull menace rages again

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SEAGULLS present a major problem to Montrose people every year.

And this year is no exception if the horror tale told by a reader in Mill Street is anything to go by.

Because of the ‘by-product’ of gulls nesting on a nearby flat roof her back garden has become a no-go area.

She explained: “We can’t sit out at our back door. I can’t put a washing out. Seats and paving are covered in bird mess.

“And plants in the garden are being ruined.”

But, worst of all, she described a totally disgusting episode as one bird’s mess landed in a cup of tea in the garden.

She, and many others, are finding the problem intolerable and wonder if there are any plans afoot to remove nests or eggs, as has happened in previous years.

A spokeswoman for Angus Council told us: “As detailed on the council’s website, we provide a free nest/egg removal service for householders throughout Angus, as well as advice to commercial users.

“For a two month period in April and May, we had contractors using hawks and falcons to try to disturb the gulls prior to the nesting season.

“Arrangements can be made to have the nests removed, although residents of flats will have to be in agreement to this being done.

“Those wishing information should contact the ACCESSline on 08452 777 778 for help and advice.”

One problem frequently reported to the Review is that there are people who actually encourage the gulls by feeding them. Official advice is never in any circumstances to feed gulls and, if possible, try to deter others from doing so.

Local councillor David May is also bewildered by people feeding gulls. He told us: “That just encourages more.”

He said that Angus Council is well aware of the significant problems gulls cause individuals, especially in the breeding season when they can be violently protective. He has been instrumental over the past few years in developing policy about the gull menace.

But he encouraged people to contact the council on the ACCESSline number given above. He agreed that unless people tell Angus Council about their specific problem, the council can’t help them.

And he concluded: “I know of cases where nests have been dislodged from roofs - and that has brought a rapid end to the problem.”

Ironically, one of the most helpful things in disturbing gulls this year was the mighty gale just a few weeks ago.

Walking around the harbour area in the aftermath one could see many nests and bits of nest strewing the pavements, and there were even a few dead birds on the ground.

But not, some might argue, enough.