Gulls eating £5,000 covering on flat roof

OUR STORY last week about the hazards of living near the gull population of Montrose has drawn a response from Rose Sheriff, who lives in River Street.

And we have spoken to Montrose Port Authority and found that during the breeding season they do employ specialists to remove nests from their own buildings.

Rose told us that her predicament is even worse than the lady who contacted us last week.

She said that as she was speaking to us on the telephone she could see in the area of her back garden 30 or 40 birds, many of them nesting.

From the front of her house it was sometimes possible to see up to 100 birds, all attracted by commercial buildings in the area.

At her last count there were about 20 young.

A problem exists that the Review has not heard of before. A new roof was put on Rose’s flat roof at a cost of some £5,000, and gulls are now pecking away at the fabric - effectively, eating her and neighbours out of house and home!

A large sum of money was spent on a new pathway among neighbouring dwellings, and the gull mess cannot be removed from it.

She has to wash her car every second day to remove the corrosive droppings.

In the hope that there might be a magic wand she contacted environmental health officers, but was told there was nothing they could do.

Rose went on: “Soon the gulls will be in attack mode as young birds fall out of nests and the parents feel they must protect them.”

It does seem that most of the nesting in the harbour area is done on the many storage sheds in the area. And Rose believes that none of the owners do anything about removing nests.

She told us: “I would make a law that Angus Council could remove the nests from the sheds and then charge the owners.”

But at least one major employer does have an annual programme of nest clearances.

Jim Raeper of Montrose Port Authority told the Review that each year a contractor is employed to go over the authority’s buildings. He added that the authority also has its own input.

The programme was carried out this year as usual.

Mr Raeper added that this year a hawk had been deployed to deter gulls from port buildings.

He concluded: “Hopefully this has some input on the problem.”

We spoke to some of the other owners of commercial buildings at the harbour, but it appears that they just endure problems from gulls.

Angus Council’s advice on the subject remains that anyone wishing help or information on any gull-related problem should contact the ACCESSline on 08452 777 778.