Fresh campaign aims to tackle seagulls problem in Worcester

Fresh campaign aims to tackle seagulls problem in Worcester

Fresh campaign aims to tackle seagulls problem in Worcester

Councillor Andy Roberts, cabinet member for cleaner and greener

First published in News Worcester News: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

A NEW campaign to rid pesky seagulls from Worcester is about to be launched - amid fears if the city does nothing the population will rocket SEVEN-FOLD to more than 2,200.

A leading Worcester politician is worried the city could "end up like St Ives" where people are now being advised to eat indoors for their own safety.

Councillor Andy Roberts, the cabinet member responsible for the environment, says he is "determined we won't go the same way" and is concerned Worcester's gull population could be growing despite official data showing a fall.

Your Worcester News can reveal how the council's Conservative leadership has now pledged to spend more taxpayers' money on the problem after deciding the current outlay of £5,000 is not enough.

It is also prepared to launch a new campaign asking people not to litter, saying dropped food is one of the main reasons why seagulls like the city.

In St Ives, the popular Cornwall seaside town, the tourism association warns against people eating outside due to seagull numbers exploding.

Cllr Roberts, cabinet member for cleaner and greener, said: "Experts say with the situation where the eggs are oiled, the population will eventually reduce by half but if we do nothing they think it will increase seven-fold - but I think it's increasing anyway.

"In St Ives they've pretty much given up and the advice there is to stay inside to eat - I don't want to end up like that."

He also revealed he's decided the budget for tackling it will be upped, saying "it is not a problem that will go away in five minutes".

"In terms of the amount of money we'll have to go away and look at it, we can't give a figure now because what we don't want to do is just spend money because it looks good," he said.

"What we can't promise to do is cure the problem completely, it would be dishonest to do that.

"But we are determined to do something with this and we've got to engage with the public to stop feeding the blasted things."

The money is spent on an outside contractor, who leaves fake plastic eggs in gull nests around the city, and in previous years it has oiled eggs to stop them hatching.

The fake egg tactic fools the birds into thinking they are real, thereby discouraging them from planting real ones inside the nest because it would get too overcrowded.

Back in 2007 there was 700 nesting pairs in the city but in the 2013 count stood at 320.

But the true population has always been disputed and during the summer several councillors say they've had emails from the public about large numbers.

Comments (16)

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2:51pm Fri 5 Sep 14

Hwicce says...

Maybe they should invest the money on better enforcement of the litter laws.

A few high profile prosecutions of people who drop litter and shops who leave rubbish out will work wonders.

Chasing seagulls is trying to treat the result not the cause.
Maybe they should invest the money on better enforcement of the litter laws. A few high profile prosecutions of people who drop litter and shops who leave rubbish out will work wonders. Chasing seagulls is trying to treat the result not the cause. Hwicce
  • Score: 13

3:08pm Fri 5 Sep 14

originalG says...

There are many things that could be done to stop the spread and infestation. Firstly, businesses in town need to stop leaving rubbish outside their premises overnight - we see it all up the Shambles and High st.

There should be more bins in town, particularly near the Macdonalds/Angel Place areas - and anyone throwing food/leftovers on the floor should get an on-the-spot fine of £50 or something. Worcester city centre is full of rubbish and this really contributes to the gull issue. It is annoying living near town as you hear them start squarking at 3.30am in summer!

Stop feeding the swans bread - it is bad for them anyway. The gulls tend to fight the swans for the bread - stupid people feeding the gulls and swans near the river also need to stop.
There are many things that could be done to stop the spread and infestation. Firstly, businesses in town need to stop leaving rubbish outside their premises overnight - we see it all up the Shambles and High st. There should be more bins in town, particularly near the Macdonalds/Angel Place areas - and anyone throwing food/leftovers on the floor should get an on-the-spot fine of £50 or something. Worcester city centre is full of rubbish and this really contributes to the gull issue. It is annoying living near town as you hear them start squarking at 3.30am in summer! Stop feeding the swans bread - it is bad for them anyway. The gulls tend to fight the swans for the bread - stupid people feeding the gulls and swans near the river also need to stop. originalG
  • Score: 15

3:29pm Fri 5 Sep 14

barbourne-worcester says...

The problem of seagulls in Worcester will never disappear or get better unless Bristol deal with their gull numbers, the gulls migrate up the River Severn to Gloucester and then move up to Worcester! We need both these places to work on the same issue to make any dents!

We also need more litter enforcement to be carried out, this is the Councils Civil Enforcement Officers job to do, target and dish out fines to the litter louts!
The problem of seagulls in Worcester will never disappear or get better unless Bristol deal with their gull numbers, the gulls migrate up the River Severn to Gloucester and then move up to Worcester! We need both these places to work on the same issue to make any dents! We also need more litter enforcement to be carried out, this is the Councils Civil Enforcement Officers job to do, target and dish out fines to the litter louts! barbourne-worcester
  • Score: 14

3:42pm Fri 5 Sep 14

Gerry Taggart says...

“Sea Gulls” in Worcester: Was Cantona Right?

It’s hard to believe that it’s nearly twenty years since Eric Cantona said,

'When seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.'

His remarks baffled many people but he was 100% correct. Gulls do follow sources of food. What else can they do? Eric’s remark was about the press pack looking for tit bits of news.
Your article on 5th September is as baffling as Cantona’s comments in 1995.
On one hand, you say that the population has decreased from 700 pairs to 320 pairs.
But, on the other hand, you say that it may rise seven-fold by 2020. So, in six years, it will be 2,000 pairs (4,000 birds). They will double every year?
I don’t know who is measuring and predicting. What made the numbers fall since 2007 and now double every year?
Another statistic. Dropped food is one of the reasons that gulls like the city. This is in a city where food banks increase? And where obesity is the main health challenge?
My final point is about St Ives. This small town is a hugely attractive tourist magnet. It has a fishing industry and untidy tourists. Gulls are well fed there.
Gulls, swans, seals and badgers; all wildlife gets a hard time in our country. Let’s not just to dismiss wild birds as “blasted things”. We are the problem; not them.
“Sea Gulls” in Worcester: Was Cantona Right? It’s hard to believe that it’s nearly twenty years since Eric Cantona said, 'When seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.' His remarks baffled many people but he was 100% correct. Gulls do follow sources of food. What else can they do? Eric’s remark was about the press pack looking for tit bits of news. Your article on 5th September is as baffling as Cantona’s comments in 1995. On one hand, you say that the population has decreased from 700 pairs to 320 pairs. But, on the other hand, you say that it may rise seven-fold by 2020. So, in six years, it will be 2,000 pairs (4,000 birds). They will double every year? I don’t know who is measuring and predicting. What made the numbers fall since 2007 and now double every year? Another statistic. Dropped food is one of the reasons that gulls like the city. This is in a city where food banks increase? And where obesity is the main health challenge? My final point is about St Ives. This small town is a hugely attractive tourist magnet. It has a fishing industry and untidy tourists. Gulls are well fed there. Gulls, swans, seals and badgers; all wildlife gets a hard time in our country. Let’s not just to dismiss wild birds as “blasted things”. We are the problem; not them. Gerry Taggart
  • Score: 15

3:59pm Fri 5 Sep 14

3thinker says...

barbourne-worcester wrote:
The problem of seagulls in Worcester will never disappear or get better unless Bristol deal with their gull numbers, the gulls migrate up the River Severn to Gloucester and then move up to Worcester! We need both these places to work on the same issue to make any dents!

We also need more litter enforcement to be carried out, this is the Councils Civil Enforcement Officers job to do, target and dish out fines to the litter louts!
Perhaps UKIP have the answer?
[quote][p][bold]barbourne-worcester[/bold] wrote: The problem of seagulls in Worcester will never disappear or get better unless Bristol deal with their gull numbers, the gulls migrate up the River Severn to Gloucester and then move up to Worcester! We need both these places to work on the same issue to make any dents! We also need more litter enforcement to be carried out, this is the Councils Civil Enforcement Officers job to do, target and dish out fines to the litter louts![/p][/quote]Perhaps UKIP have the answer? 3thinker
  • Score: 1

4:11pm Fri 5 Sep 14

liketoknow says...

I'm surprised at the WN calling them Seagulls , It's obviously a misnomer . they're Herring Gulls . you get them everywhere and they eat virtually anything. along with Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam they're one of nature's survivors .
I'm surprised at the WN calling them Seagulls , It's obviously a misnomer . they're Herring Gulls . you get them everywhere and they eat virtually anything. along with Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam they're one of nature's survivors . liketoknow
  • Score: 1

4:32pm Fri 5 Sep 14

WorcesterEye says...

In the short term, tactics like oiling are essential to partially contain the gull population, but the only long-term solution is to make Worcester City Centre unattractive to gulls and other vermin. That means taking away the free all-you-can-eat buffet that we scatter all over our city streets., and getting very tough on food-litter. Part of that approach is to penalise and stigmatise anybody who drops litter in the street. Another important part is to impose effective controls on fast-food outlets and shops selling any take-away food, snacks and sweets etc: reduce the numbers that are allowed to open, impose penalties for any of their litter that's found in the streets, and perhaps make shops responsible for keeping their immediate vicinity free of litter and clutter and even for collecting their own litter from the street. Finally we should improve the refuse collections for all city-centre premises so that bags of waste are not piled up in the street to disfigure the look of our city and to be ripped open by gulls, dogs, rats, and irresponsible humans. IN time the gulls will abandon streets that are clean and free of food waste.
In the short term, tactics like oiling are essential to partially contain the gull population, but the only long-term solution is to make Worcester City Centre unattractive to gulls and other vermin. That means taking away the free all-you-can-eat buffet that we scatter all over our city streets., and getting very tough on food-litter. Part of that approach is to penalise and stigmatise anybody who drops litter in the street. Another important part is to impose effective controls on fast-food outlets and shops selling any take-away food, snacks and sweets etc: reduce the numbers that are allowed to open, impose penalties for any of their litter that's found in the streets, and perhaps make shops responsible for keeping their immediate vicinity free of litter and clutter and even for collecting their own litter from the street. Finally we should improve the refuse collections for all city-centre premises so that bags of waste are not piled up in the street to disfigure the look of our city and to be ripped open by gulls, dogs, rats, and irresponsible humans. IN time the gulls will abandon streets that are clean and free of food waste. WorcesterEye
  • Score: 11

4:32pm Fri 5 Sep 14

Gorecki says...

Hwicce wrote:
Maybe they should invest the money on better enforcement of the litter laws.

A few high profile prosecutions of people who drop litter and shops who leave rubbish out will work wonders.

Chasing seagulls is trying to treat the result not the cause.
Have been trying to pick up one piece of litter a day on my walk to work as a new years resolution.
Not sure if it's practical, but maybe publicising a week of everyone doing something similar would work e.g. "Worcester Green Week".
There's plenty of bins, I imagine it could make quite a difference?
[quote][p][bold]Hwicce[/bold] wrote: Maybe they should invest the money on better enforcement of the litter laws. A few high profile prosecutions of people who drop litter and shops who leave rubbish out will work wonders. Chasing seagulls is trying to treat the result not the cause.[/p][/quote]Have been trying to pick up one piece of litter a day on my walk to work as a new years resolution. Not sure if it's practical, but maybe publicising a week of everyone doing something similar would work e.g. "Worcester Green Week". There's plenty of bins, I imagine it could make quite a difference? Gorecki
  • Score: 5

5:28pm Fri 5 Sep 14

Jabbadad says...

I have not been aware of Gulls feeding during darkness, however the offers to have hawks and such hunting birds used have been quickly objected to by the Carrot Crunchers in society. And as mentioned rats (vermin) and Gulls (Vermin) also control their own numbers by the amount of food available i am told. So as said stop the supply stop the problem.
As to the sad political comment by 3thinker could he say why his political cronies have not successfully addressed the problem. However one problem that will be addressed by Ukip during the coming elections is the the CONservatives will be culled just as the vermin gulls & rats .
I have not been aware of Gulls feeding during darkness, however the offers to have hawks and such hunting birds used have been quickly objected to by the Carrot Crunchers in society. And as mentioned rats (vermin) and Gulls (Vermin) also control their own numbers by the amount of food available i am told. So as said stop the supply stop the problem. As to the sad political comment by 3thinker could he say why his political cronies have not successfully addressed the problem. However one problem that will be addressed by Ukip during the coming elections is the the CONservatives will be culled just as the vermin gulls & rats . Jabbadad
  • Score: -5

5:58pm Fri 5 Sep 14

CJH says...

Gorecki wrote:
Hwicce wrote:
Maybe they should invest the money on better enforcement of the litter laws.

A few high profile prosecutions of people who drop litter and shops who leave rubbish out will work wonders.

Chasing seagulls is trying to treat the result not the cause.
Have been trying to pick up one piece of litter a day on my walk to work as a new years resolution.
Not sure if it's practical, but maybe publicising a week of everyone doing something similar would work e.g. "Worcester Green Week".
There's plenty of bins, I imagine it could make quite a difference?
That's great that you're picking litter up, but it won't stop people dropping it in the first place unfortunately. They'll just think it doesn't matter because someone else will deal with it. Sort them out and there will be an improvement. Prosecute them, fine them heavily, put their mug shots in the paper, ban them from the city centre for any activity apart from putting them into work groups and getting them to pick up everyone else's litter for a long, long time...
.
And do the same for dog owners who don't clear up their dogs cr@p.
.
Oh someone put me in charge for goodness sake. We'll have this sorted by Christmas!
[quote][p][bold]Gorecki[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Hwicce[/bold] wrote: Maybe they should invest the money on better enforcement of the litter laws. A few high profile prosecutions of people who drop litter and shops who leave rubbish out will work wonders. Chasing seagulls is trying to treat the result not the cause.[/p][/quote]Have been trying to pick up one piece of litter a day on my walk to work as a new years resolution. Not sure if it's practical, but maybe publicising a week of everyone doing something similar would work e.g. "Worcester Green Week". There's plenty of bins, I imagine it could make quite a difference?[/p][/quote]That's great that you're picking litter up, but it won't stop people dropping it in the first place unfortunately. They'll just think it doesn't matter because someone else will deal with it. Sort them out and there will be an improvement. Prosecute them, fine them heavily, put their mug shots in the paper, ban them from the city centre for any activity apart from putting them into work groups and getting them to pick up everyone else's litter for a long, long time... . And do the same for dog owners who don't clear up their dogs cr@p. . Oh someone put me in charge for goodness sake. We'll have this sorted by Christmas! CJH
  • Score: 11

6:44pm Fri 5 Sep 14

uncivil says...

Send the police on a seagull cultural awareness course.
Send the police on a seagull cultural awareness course. uncivil
  • Score: -2

10:03pm Fri 5 Sep 14

Jabbadad says...

Nice one uncivil
Nice one uncivil Jabbadad
  • Score: -2

11:59am Sat 6 Sep 14

pinkfluff says...

uncivil wrote:
Send the police on a seagull cultural awareness course.
LMAO. Winner of internet comment today goes to uncivil :-)
[quote][p][bold]uncivil[/bold] wrote: Send the police on a seagull cultural awareness course.[/p][/quote]LMAO. Winner of internet comment today goes to uncivil :-) pinkfluff
  • Score: 0

12:15pm Mon 8 Sep 14

Gerry Taggart says...

liketoknow wrote:
I'm surprised at the WN calling them Seagulls , It's obviously a misnomer . they're Herring Gulls . you get them everywhere and they eat virtually anything. along with Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam they're one of nature's survivors .
There are numerous black headed gulls and some lesser black backed gulls too. They're all fighting it out with the swans and pigeons, which we feed generously.
[quote][p][bold]liketoknow[/bold] wrote: I'm surprised at the WN calling them Seagulls , It's obviously a misnomer . they're Herring Gulls . you get them everywhere and they eat virtually anything. along with Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam they're one of nature's survivors .[/p][/quote]There are numerous black headed gulls and some lesser black backed gulls too. They're all fighting it out with the swans and pigeons, which we feed generously. Gerry Taggart
  • Score: 2

1:14pm Mon 8 Sep 14

Jabbadad says...

What if the Gulls found the Dog Pooh tasty we would get two for the price of one eh?
What if the Gulls found the Dog Pooh tasty we would get two for the price of one eh? Jabbadad
  • Score: 0

12:19pm Sun 14 Sep 14

Andy Red Kite says...

Most of the city's gulls are Lesser Black-backed gulls. These and some Herring Gulls nest in the city. In Winter the Lesser Black-backs migrate and the Herring Gulls generally roost outside the city leaving just Common Gulls and Black headed Gulls which are not town nesting species.
Most of the city's gulls are Lesser Black-backed gulls. These and some Herring Gulls nest in the city. In Winter the Lesser Black-backs migrate and the Herring Gulls generally roost outside the city leaving just Common Gulls and Black headed Gulls which are not town nesting species. Andy Red Kite
  • Score: 0

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