MORE than 400 eggs have been destroyed in the first phase of a three-year project in Devizes to reduce the amount of gulls that have been plaguing homes and businesses in the London Road area of the town.

Since April 140 nests on the Garden trading estate have been removed and three hawks and a falcon have been flown in the problem area to disturb gulls looking to settle.

Many of the roofs inspected had large numbers of nests hidden in the valley gutters and the exercise will be repeated again in a few weeks’ time which will allow the gulls time to form new nests and lay new eggs.

Wiltshire councillor Laura Mayes, who is in charge of the gull working group, said: “This project has made such a positive difference already and we’re only a few months into it.

“This problem has been ongoing for quite some time so it’s very pleasing that this partnership is helping to make a difference in the local community.

"The problem will not be solved overnight but it is good that we have made a positive start.”

Last year people living in White Horse Way were so distressed by the growing number of birds on the Garden trading estate off London Road that they were considering moving home.

After receiving a petition signed by more than 300 people last November, the Devizes area board set up a working group comprising the area board, public health and public protection team, Roundway Parish Council and Devizes Town Council.

The group enlisted an expert help to carry out a programme of work to deter gulls from nesting in the area, which will run for three years as this is the time period when gulls return to where they were born and bred.

If there are any businesses in the area that are happy for gull nests to be removed from their roofs as part of this project, they should email or phone (01249) 706309.