A NEW drive to tackle Worcester's seagulls has kicked off - amid fears the pesky birds are becoming "more aggressive".

Your Worcester News can reveal how a fresh blueprint has been drawn up to try and rid the city of the gulls once and for all.

The move, which comes on the back of Worcester's seagull population plunging by a third since 2007, includes:

- A novelty "anti-seagull gel" has been smeared in dishes on the top of the CrownGate shopping centre roof which through the eyes of a bird looks like flames, warning them off

- A pilot of 'bird-proof' black rubbish bags are to be handed to some prominent city centre businesses, which cannot be ripped open

- Talks are taking place over the possibility of painting more rooftops red, on the back of mounting intelligence that the colour puts them off landing

As a fourth measure the current hawking programme, which sees a falcon paraded around to scare them off, could be extended.

The package has been drawn up by Worcester's Business Improvement District (BID), which has bought the anti-gull gel and started using it seven weeks ago.

The gel, which is harmless, is put in dishes which are then stuck to the roof, and it appears through the gull's vision as flames.

The reinforced rubbish bags pilot has led to five black sacks being bought, which will be handed to five retailers imminently to see if they work.

Another idea under consideration is more city centre bunting, focusing on routes like The Shambles and Broad Street after the decorations in the High Street appeared to discourage gulls from flying through.

Adrian Field, from Worcester BID, said: "They do seem more aggressive this year than they've been recently, maybe that's because it's a bigger problem nationally I don't know.

"We've seen instances where they've swooped from behind and grabbed people's food, and where they've ripped open bags - everyone is working towards a solution."

The city centre has around 201 nesting gull pairs compared to 293 back in 2007 - a 31 per cent drop.

Three years ago around 400 fake eggs were left around the city to fool the birds into believing they were real, in an attempt to discourage them from leaving new ones.

Councillor Andy Roberts, cabinet member for cleaner and greener, said: "A lot of effort's been going into seagulls in recent years and I think it's working, we've taken extra measures and intuitively, you can see it's helped.

"Some other authorities around the country have put in tremendous efforts and ended up saying 'just don't feed the seagulls', because there's nothing they can do."

Outside the city centre boundaries, including Worcester's residential neighbourhoods the gull population was estimated at 430 in 2007 and is now believed to be around 324.

Last month a Yorkshire Terrier was pecked to death in a horrific attack by a ferocious seagull in Cornwall.

Prime Minister David Cameron has even waded into the debate - saying the nation needs a "serious conversation" about tackling them after he had the ham nicked from a sandwich while in Brighton.