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Brighton Journal | July 21, 2019

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Sharing a city with gulls

Hannah Midgley

As we all know, the public opinion of seagulls is very much divided. Some of us feel that they are a nuisance, through being noisy early in the morning, stealing food and nesting in domestic dwellings. Others believe that they have iconic status and are an important part of the British Seaside.

However you feel, it is important to understand how to best manage the negative behaviours with care and understanding, and the RSPCA are here to help.

Stealing food

The RSPCA state that snatching food from humans is a behaviour that is learned and reinforced by gulls after being fed by the public. They say that we should avoid feeding gulls to break this pattern of behaviour, avoid giving young children loose food and making sure that we do not litter.

Nesting on roofs

The RSPCA have also released advice about how to avoid seagulls from nesting on roofs. They say that simple wire-frame structures around chimney pots have shown success, as well as anti-perching devices such as spines and nets. It is also a good idea to clear all the moss and plants off roofs and gutters as these can attract the gulls.

Rooting through rubbish

Further advice is given, to avoid seagulls from rooting through rubbish and deter them from household areas. They explain that disposing of litter in bins, rather than in bags or crates of rubbish is vital, and that gull-proof bins, which are cheap and effective, can be easily attained.

Calling in the morning

Now is the noisiest time of the year for gulls, because it is breeding season. This will last until July. The RSPCA say that the best way to avoid disturbances is to take action in winter, to limit the opportunity for gulls to settle on your property.

To report a sick or injured gull to the RSPCA, please ring the 24-hour cruelty and advice line on 0300 1234 999.

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© Max. G.

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