Great Yarmouth Borough Council reminds public to continue to help cut gull nuisance in residential areas
Are you feeding the gull problem? That's the question to householders as part of the awareness campaign relaunched by Great Yarmouth Borough Council to reduce nuisance from gulls in residential areas.
The social media campaign highlights the direct link between the act of feeding gulls and the nuisance colonies cause in suburban areas, asking "Are you feeding the gull problem?" and advising householders "Don't be #gull-ible".
Through raising awareness, the eye-catching campaign aims to help reduce gull-related issues that affect people's home lives, such as noise nuisance keeping people awake in the early hours, messing of cars and laundry, and aggressive behaviour from gulls protecting nests and fledged chicks.
A leaflet with the same clear message will also be given to Environmental Services officers to distribute in a targeted way in residential areas when complaints about gulls are received.
The first report following the original launch of the campaign showed that just over 80% of the complaints were from people advising that their neighbour or other local resident were feeding the seagulls and attracting them to the locality. The remainder of the complaints were associated with seagulls nesting and being aggressive in nature, during the nesting season.
Despite the market place having historically been an area where complaints have been received as the seagulls are very high profile, during the season of 2019 the report shows the council only received two complaints about seagulls in this area.
Though there has been a large increase in complaints to the council, the emphasis changed from complaints about attacks to complaints about people's behaviour and feeding the birds. For example, only six out of the 37 gull related complaints received in the last six months of 2020 were regarding gull attacks.
Cllr Penny Carpenter, chairman of the environment committee, said: "Gulls are intelligent, social birds who choose to nest together with close access to food. If there is less food about, gulls lay fewer eggs or go where there are richer pickings.
"This campaign has proven that there was, and still is, an issue of gulls spreading into some suburban areas due to people disposing of waste irresponsibly and unfortunately feeding gulls.
"Due to the reports we've received in response to this complaint, we have been able to visit households to provide advice and asking those people guilty of over-feeding to pause and consider whether they are, quite literally, feeding the gull problem.
"Often, the householder does not realise that the feeding of gulls cause upset in the wider neighbourhood. Therefore, it's important that we continue to educate residents so we can work together to stop the gull problem."