Gulls cause misery with mess, noise and attacks

Seagulls
Seagulls

Fed-up residents are calling for urgent action to be taken on East Dunbartonshire’s ever-growing population of seagulls.

The Herald has been inundated with complaints about the aggressive birds in recent days, with several readers reporting that they’ve been attacked by swooping gulls.

Meanwhile, the noise made by the summer visitors is keeping people awake at night.

And the mess the birds leave behind blights gardens, houses and cars.

On Facebook, Heather Brownlie said: “I hate them - they noise they make, the mess on the car and the kids’ toys in the garden, and they swoop down on my dog every time I take him out. Complete pests.”

Attacks on pedestrians have been reported in Lenzie, Kirkintilloch and Bishopbriggs - with particular problems near Southbank Marina.

There have been calls for East Dunbartonshire Council to take action, but some say they are actually part of the problem, providing dozens of brids with a home.

Kirsty Hutton explained: “They’ve let a good few dozen make nests and breed on their council office roof, their offices at the marina, and also the business park beside their buildings.

“I live across the road from the council offices and in the summer I can’t have my windows open wide or the gulls try to dive bomb me whilst I’m standing in my own living room.

“They were a problem last summer and again just as bad this summer, they don’t do anthing about it.”

Diane Kane, the council’s team leader for community safety, said: “The council does not have a statutory responsibility for dealing with wild birds, like seagulls, and consequently does not provide a service to control them. The reason for this is that seagulls, like other wild birds, are protected in terms of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and a licence is required to kill them.

“Residents who have problems with wild birds nesting or roosting can employ licensed contractors to offer advice and assistance. If the owner or occupier of an affected building requires any more information on the legal position on dealing with these birds they can contact Scottish Natural Heritage on 01463 725000.

“It should be noted that wild birds roost as part of the breeding season and will move on naturally in the near future once their offspring have left the nest.”

She added: “A nesting chick did fall to the ground outside the council’s marina headquarters on Strathkelvin Place two weeks ago. This caused a brief issue with pedestrians as its parents attempted to protect it before the chick was rescued.

“The council is unaware of any further issues since this time.”