Seagull action plan launched at Lyme Regis

PUBLISHED: 10:30 27 March 2017

Cllr Richard Doney with the seagull advice leaflet and seafront information boards.

Cllr Richard Doney with the seagull advice leaflet and seafront information boards.

Archant

Advice leaflets on how to deal with the nuisance birds are being delivered to all DT7 properties

A seagull advice leaflet will be dropping through letterboxes of homes and businesses in the DT7 postcode area in the coming weeks.

Lyme Regis Town Council has issued advice and information for property owners and occupiers as part of the ‘seagull action plan’.

The leaflet includes information on the law relating to wild birds, and ways to deter seagulls from nesting on property.

The advice has been issued ahead of the nesting season in May, when seagulls can usually be found making nests on flat rooftops, chimneys and gullies in sloping roofs.

The leaflet will be delivered to properties not just in Lyme Regis, but also to those in surrounding areas where seagulls may venture.

This is the second phase of the council’s seagull action plan, which aims to mitigate the nuisance caused by the birds through educating the public and promoting awareness.

The first phase of the plan included placing signage on the seafront to discourage people from feeding seagulls.

Cllr Richard Doney, who has led the council’s seagull campaign, said: “What property owners and occupiers are allowed to do to reduce problems caused by seagulls nesting on their property is very limited by law.

“In the leaflet we have set out our understanding of what actions can and cannot be taken in relation to nesting seagulls.

“If you want to take action, now is the time to do it, because once gulls have chicks, there is nothing that can be done.

“We hope property owners will find the advice useful to help control the seagull population in our town.”

The mitigation of the seagull problem is one of the council’s ongoing objectives, with £6,000 already committed to the project and a further £4,000 earmarked.

Gulls can cause many problems for property owners at their nesting site and surrounding area, which they will defend, particularly when chicks are present.

They can create a great deal of noise, particularly in the early morning, cause mess with their droppings, and nesting materials can block gas flues and gutters.

West Dorset District Council is considering introducing new rules which would make it a civil offence to feed seagulls.

The district council recently held a consultation on a proposed Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) related to anti-social behaviour, which would include the feeding of gulls.

Cllr Doney said: “We are optimistic West Dorset District Council will introduce a PSPO, which will prohibit the feeding of gulls in areas near the seafront. Hopefully this will further discourage people from feeding seagulls and remove one of their food sources.

“With the main holiday season approaching, we will be looking at how we can warn people of the potential risks from seagull thieves.”

Further advice and information on seagulls is available on the town council’s website at www.lymeregistowncouncil.gov.uk/seagull-advice

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