Date Published: 

Fri, 12/05/2017

Bath & North East Somerset Council’s campaign to tackle urban gulls is underway with free roof treatments starting.

Buildings in the wards of Abbey, Kingsmead, Newbridge, Twerton, Westmoreland and Widcome, along with the former Welton Bibby site in Midsomer Norton, will be treated in the coming weeks as well as Council-owned buildings in Bath city centre.

The Council has allocated £57,000 for 2017/18, along with additional support from the Bath Business Improvement District (BID), to tackle the gull problem. This follows on from a successful campaign last year, when 1,150 eggs and 469 nests were removed.

NBC Environment has been contracted to carry out this work on behalf of the Council.

The roof treatments are part of a series of measures being put in place to tackle the gull problem, supported by Bath & North East Somerset Council. There will also be further work encouraging everyone to keep the streets clear of litter and waste.

 As part of the project, the Council is also working with University of the West of England and Middlesex University to carry out research into gull behaviour.

Council officers are working with behavioural ecology and psychology students at the universities to map and track the behaviour of the gulls as they interact with their food sources and nesting sites.

Divisional Director for Environmental Services at Bath & North East Somerset Council, Martin Shields, said: “The Council is taking steps to try to reduce the number of gulls using a range of measures including removing nests and eggs. 

“But we need the community to work with us and prevent the birds from being attracted into particular areas. We would remind people to only put their rubbish out on the day of collection and those who have gull-proof sacks to use them for their rubbish. We would also ask people not to leave litter or food scraps around which can be eaten by the gulls. By working together to keep our streets clean and tidy, we can reduce the problem and ensure the area remains attractive to visit and enjoy.”

Members of the public who notice gulls nesting on their roofs can contact the Council’s contractor NBC Environment for a free treatment.

Darren Bishop from NBC Environment, said: “We’ve already had a good response from local residents wanting treatments – but if you’ve not got in touch, there is still time. If there are nests on your roof and you are in one of the identified areas, call and ask for a free roof treatment before the end of May so that visits can be programmed in before eggs begin hatching.”

Treatment cannot be fully booked until there is confirmation that a nest has been built. It can be difficult to confirm this when you may not be able to see your entire roof, so some useful indications that a nest maybe present are:

  • Increased activity, with gulls travelling back and forth with twigs and nesting material.
  • The nest is formed in two to three days, after which, one of the pair will be seen sitting on the nest.
  • In the early stages, you will see a pair sitting close together, usually close to where the nest will be formed.
  • You will also often see an increase in adult gulls swooping at anyone or anything that gets too close.

 NBC Environment will need permission from the property owner before they access a roof. They also need to make sure that your roof can be accessed safely.

 If you think there is a nest on your roof, please contact NBC Environment on 0800 169 9646 or complete a web form on the Council website www.bathnes.gov.uk/gulls

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