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Project to control numbers of marauding gulls in Inverness is set to receive funding

By Neil MacPhail

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The menace of aggressive marauding gulls in Inverness was again highlighted when a request for funding was made for the Inverness Gull Project 2024.

Only on Tuesday a startled woman was seen to have a snack grabbed from her hand by a gull as she was raising the food to her mouth while walking in Inverness High Street.

Detailed discussion took place on the problem when Inverness City Committee's Common Good Fund sub committee considered applications from Inverness BID for grant funding of £13,606 for the gull control project that removes gull eggs from their nests on roofs.

Councillors heard that the main issue was litter and food waste, and there was a need for better signage to remind people, particularly tourists, not to feed the gulls.

It was also heard that there was a particular issue in respect of the route from the city centre to Millburn Academy because a small number of pupils were dropping litter, and gulls could be seen following pupils and dive-bombing them.

It was suggested there was a need for more bins along the route, and the head teacher was keen to engage with the council to improve the situation.

A pest control technician swoops on an Inverness roof.
A pest control technician swoops on an Inverness roof.

Sub committee members agreed it was necessary to recognise the impact of aggressive dive-bombing gulls on locals and visitors.

There was a move a year ago not to fund the egg/nest removal from city roofs because gull numbers were under pressure from avian flu, but the sub-committee heard that the gull programme was cumulative and it was necessary to maintain it so as not to undo the progress that had been made.

However a request was made for more evidence-based research on egg/nest removal, and the Inverness City Area manager confirmed this could be provided and be published online so members could refer people to it.

The sub-committee agreed to recommend £13,606 funding for the core project programme be approved when the City Committee meets on February 5 to approve the 2024/25 Inverness Common Good budget.

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