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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Feeding the birds court dropped by Carlisle council

A shop owner who was facing court action over feeding the birds has been told the case against him has been dropped.

David McGovern photo
David McGovern

Related: Carlisle shop owner prosecuted for 'feeding birds'

David Michael McGovern, who runs Strawberry Fields secondhand shop in The Citadel Row in Carlisle, denied two charges of littering and had been due to go on trial next month.

A spokeswoman for the city council revealed the prosecution had now been dropped after Mr McGovern, who has lived above the shop for at least 19 years, told them he cleared up after feeding the birds.

“On this basis, the council felt that it was no longer in the public interest to continue with proceedings,” she said. “However, the situation will continue to be monitored.”

The prosecution was launched in response to complaints from members of the public, she said.

“Feeding birds within the city centre is discouraged as gulls then nest and breed in the area,” she added.

“The council has had numerous complaints about gulls, especially during breeding season as theycan become more aggressive.”

Gulls start to look for nesting sites from this month, with chicks born in June and July when the birds can become aggressive.

The spokeswoman said they encouraged businesses to minimise the numbers of gulls nesting on roofs by fitting netting and stretching wire across the roofs, which deter the birds, and by disposing of food waste securely and not littering.

Special ‘gull-proof’ sacks have been distributed to thousands of homes in the city centre to prevent the birds from ripping open refuse sacks for food.

When last in court last month, Mr McGovern told District Judge Gerald Chalk that his defence would be that he was “feeding the birds on my doorstep”.

He intended to call county council leader Stewart Young as one of his witnesses.

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