Published: 07/09/2017 11:01 - Updated: 07/09/2017 11:05

Call for gull cull as birds run riot

Written byNeil MacPhail

 

herring gull
Gulls have been creating a nuisance in the Crown area of Inverness.

AN Inverness landlady is begging Highland Council to take action against a group of noisy neighbours that have set up home in the community.

The unwelcome residents are gulls that are apparently attracted to the flat roof on one of Crown Primary School’s buildings.

The situation has got to the stage that the head of the local community council says she is in favour of a gull cull, as carried out by Dundee council when 200 birds were shot.

A B&B owner in the Crown area was concerned the gulls were nesting on the roof of the school.

The woman, who wished to be anonymous, said: "The noise is terrible, including all through the night.

"There is not a time when they are quiet, and they can be screeching from 2am onwards.

"The guests complain about the gulls and we are concerned that this could damage our business if someone gives a bad report online.

"On top of the noise, the laundry hanging on the line is getting hit by their poo. So are our cars and guests’ cars."

She said gulls have been a problem before, but never to the extent that they are now.

"This year it seems to be worse than ever, probably because the flat roofed Portakabins in the old Midmills Campus site have been pulled down for development and more birds have moved onto the school roof," she said.

"We have been onto the council’s environmental health department and they said something definitely will be done about it, but so far nothing.

"At first we were told that budgets were tight and then it was the wrong time to do anything about the gulls. We felt they were making excuses not to do anything."

Pat Hayden, chairwoman of Crown Community Council, said the gull problem was raised at a meeting last week and they were told that environmental health was on the case.

"We were disappointed that things have gone this far without any action," she said.

"Mike Smith, the manager of Inverness Business Improvement District, who is also on the community council, said that Dundee had a culling policy and shot 200 gulls. I am all in favour of that. I don’t think we should pussyfoot around.

"It has been a nightmare and these people have had to put up with it for a long time before we heard. We have asked the Highland Council’s Crown member, Jimmy Gray, to speak to Dundee about their policy."

Mrs Hayden said she had heard four homes in the area were feeding gulls, and she urged them to stop this practice.

A council spokeswoman said: "While Highland Council has no statutory duty to take action against any type of gull, our environmental health service is aware of the situation at Crown Primary School and are in discussion with the school and are considering possible future options for this property regarding gulls.

"All wild birds in Scotland are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Many actions against birds, eggs and nests are illegal. It is illegal to capture, injure or destroy any wild bird or interfere with its nest or eggs.

"The council provides guidance on gulls and encourages residents and visitors not to feed gulls. Posters are widely displayed in Inverness centre to that effect."

Are gulls a nightmare where you live? Share your story with the newsdesk via newsdesk@spp-group.com or 01463 732230.

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