THE seagull plague in Devizes and surrounding areas will be tackled by a new dedicated team and Wiltshire councillor Laura Mayes is appealing for people to get involved.

The Devizes Area Board voted in favour of forming the project group, which will look at options for tackling the problem and preventative measures, at a meeting on Monday.

Coun Mayes wants to involve businesses and the community in the project. She also wants to speak to experts and other local authorities in a bid to reduce gull numbers by 20 per cent a year.

She said: “They are very efficient breeders and if we don’t do something now, the population could grow by 100 per cent a year.

“These gulls are able to reproduce for 25 years so this is a big problem. It is important to get this issue sorted as people are being disturbed at night and having their property damaged.”

The project group is holding its first meeting today to start making plans to tackle the problem.

More than 300 people upset about the noise and nuisance caused by the birds have signed a petition calling for action, which was presented at Monday’s meeting.

Coun Mayes started the petition in August after complaints from people living in the Roundway area. More than 150 signatures were added to the petition in the first three days.

Families in White Horse Way and Combe Walk, off London Road, are among those who want to see a reduction in the number of birds. They say the gulls keep them awake in the early hours of the morning and make a mess on cars.

Seagulls are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 which makes it illegal to kill them, or damage or destroy an active nest.

Licences to control gulls have to be issued by Natural England.

Gulls have previously nested in large numbers on the roofs of industrial buildings at the Garden Trading Estate.

Staff at Jewsons on the industrial estate have also complained to Wiltshire Council’s environmental health department but were told there is nothing that can be done because gulls are protected.

In addition to putting wire and other materials on the rooftops it could also be possible to stop numbers multiplying by removing eggs from nests, which Coun Mayes said was allowed.

Plans formed by the group will be presented at the next area board meeting in January.

To sign the petition go to To contact Coun Mayes to be part of the project group email