Local bowlers in despair at constant gull raids

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HOPE Paton Bowling Club has come under intense attack from gulls, with the green having been declared temporarily unplayable and fixtures switched to other clubs.

The Holiday Fours had to be transferred to Inch Bowling Green on Sunday, although it is hoped that the semi-final and final can be played at Hope Paton.

And on Saturday the home friendly against Montrose BC had to be changed to the Montrose green because of gull mess on the green transferring itself to bowls as they were played.

The club has just spent well over £4,000 on refurbishments such as new banks, scoreboard and paintwork, and on Friday spent another £200 on a fleece to cover the playing surface.

The theory is that the gulls which are nesting on nearby roofs have a particular liking for the worms on the Hope Paton green - infuriatingly the surrounding grass is untouched!

The fleece has had limited success, as although it may have protected the green, the fleece has been targeted by the gulls with poo and vomit, as if they are showing their fury at being deprived of their worms.

Secretary George Henderson told us that the club had tried balloons and windmills to deter the gulls, but to no avail.

And president John Paton added that the gulls’ actions must be regarded as a health hazard, and not the sort of thing that should be happening to one of the town’s attractions for visitors, and especially so close to the War Memorial.

He is concerned about the long-term effect on the grass of the chemicals in the birds’ droppings.

Again, the frustration is that there is absolutely nothing that anyone can do, legally, against the gulls.

And a reader in Mill Lane has another bizarre story.

For some days she was perplexed by a tap-tap-tap which seemed to be coming from outside.

And it was! When she looked out she saw a seagull walking around her car, tap-tap-tapping on the paintwork as it went.

As the days passed she saw it behaving in the same way with other cars.

The theory is that it was pecking at its reflection, although the various cars are different colours and some were not even highly polished.

And to add insult to injury, one day the lady washed her car, and by the time she had put away the hose, the vehicle was streaked with gull poo again.

Our informant, who asked not to be named, said: “If the people who say leave the birds alone lived here and endured what is going on, they would soon change their tune.”

She has been at the same address for more than 26 years, and adds her voice to the view that problems caused by gulls are getting worse, year by year.