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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

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Call for action as baby in pram attacked by gull

Dive-bombing seagulls are causing chaos in a town centre, leaving many people terrified to visit the streets.

Gulls photo

The birds are constantly swooping on people, stealing food from their hands and even attacking children and dogs in Whitehaven.

The problem is now so bad that many victims are calling on the council to carry out a cull to rid the streets of the nuisance birds.

However, when the News & Star approached Copeland council to see what could be done, the authority declined to comment.

Many people who live in and visit the town say that the seagulls’ behaviour is spiralling out of control, especially around the harbour and King Street area.

Carol Corless walks around the town every week with her parents, who are in their seventies, and she said they are constantly being attacked.

Her mum has even resorted to taking a hiking stick with her to chase the birds away.

“They just ambush you,” the 48-year-old from Cleator Moor said. “One of our dogs is terrified of them. The seagulls come from behind and dive-bomb you and the noise they make is horrendous. We have had to alter the route that we walk around town to avoid them.

“One has recently attacked my friend’s dog – it pierced its skin with its beak. They are really scary and something needs to be done. I just hope that by speaking up about the problem, action will be taken.”

Mark Shackley said that it’s the screeching noise the birds make that is scary and intimidating for people.

The 53-year-old, who lives at Corkickle, witnessed a group of seagulls grabbing food out of people’s hands on King Street earlier this week. The vicious birds then flew towards them with their wings out in a “frenzied attack mode.”

“One young guy got on a bench to get out of the way,” he added. “An older guy passing by just ran at one seagull waving his hands and kicking out at it, that one eventually flew off, but they were surrounded by them.”

Grahame Lowe, who works for Sky in the town centre, said that the birds are forever pinching food and causing a nuisance.

“I was talking to a girl yesterday who had a baby in a pram,” he added. “A seagull flew down and started pecking the baby’s feet quite hard. They ran off down the street and the seagull followed them. It’s beyond a joke.”

Another victim, Jade Shaw, told how she was walking along the harbour with a sausage roll in her hand, and as she put it to her mouth to take a bite, five seagulls dive-bombed her and took the food.

As well as stealing food and attacking members of the public, the birds are also making a mess of the town’s streets, as they rip open bin bags left outside shops and houses, scattering rubbish everywhere.

Andrew McDowell, of the Market Place post office, said: “The rubbish on the streets from the bin bags that seagulls have ripped open is like the aftermath of Glastonbury – there’s rubbish everywhere.”

Have your say

An e-petition has been created to try and get the council to do something, it will be active on thursday, view it and sign here.

Posted by billybob on 22 July 2014 at 12:44

It was sad and sickening to witness a pensioner sitting on the bench outside of WH smiths in Whitehaven last week. The poor old girl was in a state of shock after a town centre seagull messed all down the front of her face.Helpful locals were keen to assist in cleaning her up.All the lady could do was sit and cry in shock and panic....absolutely disgusted that the town cant get on top of this problem.
Egg pricking at the start of the nesting season followed by trapping with mesh cages and culling once the eggs are being sat.
One of the above letters was very accurate in saying town is like Glastonbury every morning at 5am....Its an absolute disgrace wit the Gulls totally wrecking every bag in site to feed the newly hatched chicks.
I look forward to a future town with not one single gull in sight , get rid of every single one of them.

Posted by Norman young on 20 July 2014 at 11:26

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