Saturday, August 25, 2012

Nairn in 2013 – a lot more seagull unfriendly?

On Tuesday night in the Community Centre the West CC set out their stall at the head of a campaign for action on seagulls, particularly the more aggressive ones that have been recently asserting themselves in the town centre. Rosemary Young told the meeting:

“There’s been a big push from a lot people coming to me saying it’s gone beyond a joke in this town and we must do some sort of culling next spring, legally or whatever.”

Rosemary then produced a document containing information on the protected status of the Herring Gull or more specifically the lack of it, the document was headed “Scottish Natural Heritage General Licence 03/2012.” Rosemary continued:

”I don’t want to appear like a sort of mad murderer but I witnessed a young woman with her small child just by the Regal being attacked by a seagull. The child was being attacked in fact. She was beating it off and I stopped the car to help her. The seagulls have become a nuisance, there was another woman trying to get into her car. She had two seagulls on her car. She couldn’t get in, they were attacking her. There’s been three or four incidents of people reporting to me similar incidents.

 I we hadn’t had a wet summer we would be knee deep in seagull doobs because at one point the whole place was white and people were walking into shops, guests were coming back and saying ‘we’ve got to take our shoes off before we come in the house because they are covered in seagulls muck. I’m not saying you have to get rid of every seagull off the face of this earth but they have become beyond a joke in this town. They are now nesting and sitting in grass and that’s never the thing for Herring Gulls to do.”

Michael Green said he and his fellow councillors had spent a lot of time discussing the problem. He said according to information from studies in Dumfries it seemed that removal of nests was the most effective policy. He told those present: “There have been discussions, I don’t want to pre-judge our final discussions. We’re looking to put in place a range of measures to help or educate but what I would say is that next year Nairn will be a lot more seagull unfriendly than it is now.”

To this observer the reality of the situation is that there should have been action on removing nests should at least 20 years ago. It is left to today's councillors to do something at a time when local government funds  are evaporating. Some householders and property owners will continue to remove nests where they can or can afford to have someone else to do it. Others may not be so willing so it will be down to the Council in many instances, that will mean manpower and costs. Can suffiicent funds be found in 2013 to disprupt Salty's nesting season?


species bird cleansing said...

The average lifespan of a herring gull is 30 years. To make a significant dent in the local population any attempts to remove nests are going to have to be ongoing for at least that time period, and beyond.
Removing nests is very costly as it requires access to roofs, and needs to be carried out repeatedly as birds will often return and rebuild their nests

I doubt very much that there will be the monies nor the will to carry out any sustained removal of nests and therefore any such work will be token

It's a great pity that some people see this beautiful bird as a pest and would no doubt like to see it be declared as vermin, when it is humans who have actively encouraged the birds into their towns by feeding etc

Anonymous said...

It would seem that the UK population of herring gulls is on the decline anyway

Another victim of over fishing?

Anonymous said...

I was treated to a rare site yesterday evening - hundreds of gulls just off the beach feeding in their natural habitat I walk on the beach almost every day and that was the first time I have seen so many gulls feeding from the sea at once.
It certainly looked like there was plenty to go round.
Can the "do gooders" who feed and encourage the gulls to stay not see the harm this is doing for all concerned; the general public getting attacked and swooped upon whenever food is present, the tourists who won't want to come back, the businesses who suffer due to lack of tourists, the council who have to clean the seagull mess up, the thousands of meters of gutters in the town centre that get blocked up due to the gulls. The list goes on and on but unless the gulls are driven from the town then I'm afraid there will always be mentions of culling them and eventually the gulls will be the ones who lose.