HAWKS will be flown around the city centre every day for the next two months in a bid to stop gulls from settling.

Several of the birds will be flown in and around the city centre as part of the biggest crackdown on gulls to be taken by the council.

As of this week, the birds will be flying for up to eight hours a day targeting gull hotspots including Worcester High Street, The Tything, Foregate Street and Copenhagen Street as well as Lower Wick and Blackpole.

Cllr Marc Bayliss, leader of Worcester City Council, said: “Residents frequently tell us that gulls are a nuisance and in extreme cases, can regularly disturb sleep and affect their health.

“We are working hard to address this issue.

“We’re doubling our budget over the next twelve months to combat the effects of gulls and are using a variety of techniques, including hawk flying, to deter them.

“However, the gulls most common to our area are protected species and there are stringent rules which impact on the techniques we can deploy.”

The work comes off the back of a hawk flying trial in Britannia Square and other parts of Worcester city centre last year.

Since the trial, no further reports of gulls nesting in the area have been reported.

Residents in the nearby Tything and surrounding area had also reported a reduction in noise and gulls becoming aggressive, the council said.

Hawk flying is one of a number of measures the city council council is using to reduce the number of gulls in Worcester.

Since May, 137 nests and 233 eggs have been removed during what is peak nesting season for gulls.

Just last week, fresh calls for a controversial gull cull were made amid claims the city is one of the worst-affected in the country.

Worcester city councillor Alan Amos continued his crusade to tackle the city’s ever-growing gull problem and wants a ‘health and safety emergency’ to be declared as part of a plan to bring numbers under control.

He said gull numbers were rising “exponentially” in Worcester and attacked Natural England claiming the government agency was “deliberately” making it difficult for gull control after making changes to the way it hands out licences for dealing with protected birds.