Hundreds petition to end Devizes seagull menace

Some of the residents of White Horse Way, Devizes, who are concerned about the growing gull population

Hundreds petition to end Devizes seagull menace

First published in News

A petition signed by hundreds of people upset by the noise and mess caused by an ever increasing number of seagulls is to be presented to councillors on September 29.

The online petition started by Coun Laura Mayes, who represents Roundway on Wiltshire Council, will go to the Devizes Area Board when it meets at the Sports Club in London Road at 6.30pm.

Coun Mayes has called the seagulls that congregate in the area around the Garden Trading Estate a menace.

The seagull issue has become a growing problem for people in the Roundway area but the hands of the authorities are tied about how the problem can be solved as the birds are protected. Licences to control gulls can be issued by Natural England.

Coun Mayes said: “The situation is horrendous. I get disturbed by seagulls where I live. Seagulls don’t come under the responsibility of Wiltshire Council so by reporting it as an issue to the area board I want to see if we can find a community way to get round it.”

Families in White Horse Way, off London Road, are among those who want the number of birds to be cut as they say they say keep them awake and poop on their cars.

Wendy McWilliams, 54, says she has been prescribed anti-depressants and sleeping tablets because of the stress.

She said: “They are an absolute nightmare. Their squawking goes on from 8pm to 1am and they start up at 3.30am.”

Tony Whitehead, an RSPB spokesman, said: “We believe, and the law requires, lethal control should be a last resort used only where it is legal, where there is a proven problem, where non-lethal alternatives have been tried and found not to be effective and where legal, lethal control will not adversely affect the conservation status of the species.

“The RSPB recommends action by local authorities and individuals to reduce the volume of food available to gulls in urban areas, including reducing the amount of food waste sent to landfill, not putting rubbish out until the day of collection, in gull-proof containers, reducing the amount of edible litter on streets, particularly from fast food outlets and providing gull-proof litter bins.”

In other towns affected by increasing numbers of gulls, an egg and nest removal programme has been carried out, along with extra signs put up discouraging members of the public from feeding the birds.

Air ambulance spokesman Cheryl Johnson said pilots had not reported any problems.

She said: “In the past we have taken specialist advice on seagulls and other large birds and about a year ago we put in a solar powered bird scarer but most heli-pads would have these.

“Wherever we fly we have to be aware of large birds.”

Comments (5)

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3:42pm Thu 21 Aug 14

commonasmuck says...

Anti-depressants and sleeping pills because of seagulls, really? What next, a claim for compensation?
Anti-depressants and sleeping pills because of seagulls, really? What next, a claim for compensation? commonasmuck
  • Score: 6

10:30pm Thu 21 Aug 14

ford_andrew says...

I've lived on the estate for 7 years yeah there a pain for pooing everywhere but the noise isn't a issue you just learn to live with it.
I've lived on the estate for 7 years yeah there a pain for pooing everywhere but the noise isn't a issue you just learn to live with it. ford_andrew
  • Score: 2

7:42am Sat 23 Aug 14

Adam Hall says...

No-one has any legally enshrined right to not be disturbed by Seagulls. I suggest earplugs. Or lightening up.
No-one has any legally enshrined right to not be disturbed by Seagulls. I suggest earplugs. Or lightening up. Adam Hall
  • Score: 1

9:19pm Sat 23 Aug 14

officer1 says...

I am a resident on this estate and they are a nuisance and noisy at night. They do occasional wake you up particularly in summer when windows are open but it is something you do get used to.
However perhaps these particular residents should take note of the advice from RSPB. Their rubbish bins, up to 20 and not always with closed lids, are always left out on the pavements and rarely put away in the bin sheds I believe they have. This is something I have bought to the attention of WC as I am unable to walk my child safely to the park as you have to walk on the road.
I would like to see rid of these noisy animals but a cull is extreme and other options should be explored. Perhaps a handful of residents could put model birds on their roofs of fly a kite (bird) from their roof as a deterrant. A local business has done this and it was proven to be a success.
I am a resident on this estate and they are a nuisance and noisy at night. They do occasional wake you up particularly in summer when windows are open but it is something you do get used to. However perhaps these particular residents should take note of the advice from RSPB. Their rubbish bins, up to 20 and not always with closed lids, are always left out on the pavements and rarely put away in the bin sheds I believe they have. This is something I have bought to the attention of WC as I am unable to walk my child safely to the park as you have to walk on the road. I would like to see rid of these noisy animals but a cull is extreme and other options should be explored. Perhaps a handful of residents could put model birds on their roofs of fly a kite (bird) from their roof as a deterrant. A local business has done this and it was proven to be a success. officer1
  • Score: 1

12:48am Mon 25 Aug 14

localgal says...

I totally agree with you officer1. A cull is extreme and surely the reasons for them being in this area need to be looked at and any issues addressed. Humans have made these birds come into our towns and we are now reaping what we have sown. The landfill site and the recycling site have a part to play in this and they have kept very quiet on the matter. Get a grip people it is a little bit of noise and a little bit of mess! Secure your trash and be glad that there are several excellent car washing services locally. As far as I am aware nobody has been killed by a seagull. Stress however kills thousands! Chill or do what you said in the paper sell up and move. Hopefully the seagulls won't follow!
I totally agree with you officer1. A cull is extreme and surely the reasons for them being in this area need to be looked at and any issues addressed. Humans have made these birds come into our towns and we are now reaping what we have sown. The landfill site and the recycling site have a part to play in this and they have kept very quiet on the matter. Get a grip people it is a little bit of noise and a little bit of mess! Secure your trash and be glad that there are several excellent car washing services locally. As far as I am aware nobody has been killed by a seagull. Stress however kills thousands! Chill or do what you said in the paper sell up and move. Hopefully the seagulls won't follow! localgal
  • Score: -1

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