Some in no doubt where gull blame lies

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OUR ARTICLE last week about problems caused by seagulls, inspired by readers’ comments, predictably produced a number of responses.

One Montrose resident, who asked not to be identified, was adamant that the long-term problem of the build-up of gull population can be laid at the door of successive Angus Councils.

He said: “I accept that the problem is made worse by people feeding gulls, gulls bursting open bags of rubbish containing food, and other human-inspired attractions.

“But the real problem goes back 20-odd years during which time complaint after complaint has been made to various incarnations of the local authority.

“The population has been allowed to build up, during a time when councils could easily have reduced the numbers of gulls.

“Not having a cull now is a very bad policy indeed.”

He continued: “I understand that the council has to stay within the law, and that they are also subject to powerful lobbying from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. But they have to remember that many elderly people are frightened by the gulls which can even strike them on the head, and the effect of toxic droppings on the washing line can be dramatic.”

Hot on his heels came another call, this time from a gentleman who explained what can go wrong even when Angus Council does take well-intentioned action.

He is a resident of Rossie Island, and two or three months ago he noticed that there were gulls’ nests on the roof of semi-detached houses on Rossie Island Road.

The gentleman was well aware of problems cause by dive-bombing gulls last year, alarming elderly people living in the area, and he contacted Angus Council’s ACCESSline asking to have the nests removed.

To the council’s credit, environmental health officials attended promptly and ordered a cherry-picker to allow nests to be removed.

Unfortunately, when it started to operate the ground on which its stabilising outriggers were placed turned out to be soft, and the machine tipped, damaging slates on a roof.

Our informant says that, mercifully, there were no injuries. A crane righted the cherry-picker, but the nests remained.

He says he went through the same process and a cherry-picker was again sent. The first he knew of this was when the operator knocked on his door and said he had no nests on his roof.

The gentleman gave the correct address but was told that there was no order for that address.

Two chicks were born and the harassment has started up again.

Angus Council referred readers the council’s website, and to look at Seagulls in the A-Z. There is a great deal of information, including FAQs.

We are also reminded of the ongoing tests on a gel which is being tested as a means to deter seagulls from settling on buildings in the seaside towns in the county. The gel does not kill, harm or trap birds but deters them from landing on buildings as they see ultraviolet light which appears to them as fire.

A report on the trial will be issued around October.

And on Facebook Tommy Stewart commented: “Would it maybe be a good idea for the Review to hold a poll on how the Montrose public would like the issue of seagulls dealt with. I have heard of people to be in favour of a cull and also others against it. Why not have a poll here?”