Troop Councilor Ross Cassie has welcomed measures agreed at a meeting of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee to tackle the problem of urban seagulls.
The move follows ongoing complaints about gulls in coastal and inland communities, including noise, aggressive behavior, soiling and bird feeding.
Currently the local authority is undertaking a range of measures including the use of birds of prey, treatment of buildings to prevent nesting and landing, an egg and nest removal program and increased collections waste and litter.
But under new proposals agreed by committee members, a five-year action plan will be implemented, backed by a budget of £250,000.
During the discussion, the committee learned that a review undertaken by a regional group of urban gull stakeholders had established that there was no quick fix to mitigate the impact of gulls on communities in Aberdeenshire. Rather, a longer-term strategic approach was needed to ensure significant lasting impact.
The committee was also told that for such a strategy to be successful, a joint approach between council officers and local communities is needed.
The key elements of the action plan are:
- Profiling of areas significantly affected by gulls to identify and mitigate issues such as food sources, nesting sites, waste storage, litter and litter provision that encourage gulls in these areas.
- Acceleration of the deployment of anti-seagull bins.
- Engage with local businesses to encourage good waste storage and prevent gulls from accessing food.
- Providing financial support to local communities to encourage and support strategies such as egg and nest removal and the use of birds of prey.
- Provide information and advice to local communities on how to manage/minimize the impact of gulls.
Cllr Ross Cassie said: ‘This is a controversial issue and I am aware that voters have a range of views on urban gulls ranging from seeking extermination to seeking stronger protection.
“I believe these measures are a proportionate response to the issues raised and include practical measures that can also help communities and landowners to carry out egg and nest removal, for example.”