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Seaside towns hope in bid to end Carlisle's seagull menace

Advice could be sought from seaside resorts in a desperate attempt to curtail the plague of seagulls wreaking havoc in Carlisle.

In one area, Kingstown, their droppings have left business customers sheltering under umbrellas or faced with car wash bills, while the business owners and staff are faced with running the gauntlet just to attend work.

Ian Lawson, of Ian Lawson Kitchens in Park Hill Road, said: “We are having major problems.

“The seagulls come along and they dive bomb people getting in or out of their car. They are also mucking up cars – it took me three buckets of water to get bird muck off a car.

“One of my lads got covered in droppings while working outside, and this is happening every year.”

Mr Lawson said he logged a complaint with the city council, but was told there was nothing they could do.

Ian Wheatcroft, branch manager at Ciceley Commercials, the Mercedes-Benz commercial truck and van dealership in Petersfield Road, said the problem has been going on for so long, business owners have given up hope of a solution.

“It is just the same old problem,” he admitted. “I don’t know what the solution is.

“I’ve literally just washed my car, but it is a thankless task. We have had to hose down the surface at the entrance, because it was covered in droppings and looked terrible.”

The city MP John Stevenson recently held a breakfast meeting for businesses in the Kingstown area, where one of the “hot topics” was the issue of the birds. 

Mr Stevenson said: “I’ve written a letter to the council setting out all the various issues raised at the breakfast meeting, including seagulls.

“I’ve asked the council they can try and control them; one suggestion, is that they approach the seashore resorts – because they obviously have a greater problem than us – and see how they manage the problem.”

A spokeswoman for Carlisle City Council said: “Summer is the mating and nesting period for gulls and during this time the gulls can become territorial.

“Owners and occupiers of land are encouraged to contact qualified and competent private pest control companies to control and deter gulls. Control measures for Herring gulls and Lesser Black-backed gulls can be undertaken under a freely obtained General Licence from Natural England.”

She added that gulls tend to nest and congregate around areas of food.

“Gulls are commonly seen on landfill sites but will also take advantage of other rubbish and litter left lying around that will contain food,” she added.

“Carlisle City Council seeks to maintain a high quality street cleaning service. By helping us to keep the streets clean the community can also help control the seagull populations.”

Have your say

With it is now a general wildlife conservation debate. I seen them gathering by the thousands of the Solway coast. Fearful to local shoreline communities? What happened to Hedgehogs as It was mentioned to me they have not seen one in decades. Road kills? In regard tha other Roy. Yes, my shadow the cemetery is peaceful and being best in country. Well worth a walk, it has woodland conservation areas. Sometimes a noisy wood pigeon. I was in city with other townies on friday when a kiddie dropped food with parents alongside all outside a food shop in Devonshire Street and all of a sudden these guys swooped down fighting over the discarded fud. They're no worse occasionally than some, such as youths that cannot socially behave wherever. Thankfully not need a drycleaning of my suit. In relation to Willowholme being hell which when walking to quilt sized lovely park I found bins thrown on side (council waste collection or others?) and with littering perhaps 'signage' ready for the new real hell from some that may shop soon at new Sainsbury's. Try something new Sainsbury's...?

Posted by Roy on 22 July 2012 at 12:55

the gulls were there before kingstown industrial estate ever was, maybe its mother nature telling us to stop building on countryside, maybe theyre giving us a hint that we cant just do what we like with the planet. nature fighting back. you should embrace nature not just try to kill it off the moment it becomes a pest.

Posted by country bob on 21 July 2012 at 23:38

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