Urban gulls are an issue for many towns and cities throughout the South West. Whilst we can action situations that may attract gulls, such as poor house-keeping within premises, there is no legislation that enables the Council to control them effectively.
Update: May 2021
This year, Bath and North East Somerset Council are in a pilot with Natural England to trial a different approach to licensing in relation to taking action against Gulls.
Gulls cause real issues to residents of Bath and the surrounding towns, but we have to balance that with the fact that the gulls are a protected species, and as such, the gulls and their nests are protected. Lethal actions (including nest and egg removal) therefore would normally constitute offences under law, and licences to carry out lethal actions are issued as a last resort.
In order for us to comply with the licence, officers are assessing whether lethal action is proportionate in order to preserve public health or safety, and also need to be confident that non-lethal measures have tried, or will not work.
Examples given by Natural England of what are not justifiable reasons for taking action are gulls swooping on pets; and on people but not making contact. Also, nuisance is not deemed to be a reason for lethal action (including the removal of nests and eggs). If one of the key reasons for requesting action under this programme is continued sleep disturbance, information relating to what negative health effect that has led to.
Please click on the following link to complete the form if you have suffered from health or safety issues arising from the activities of Gulls:
Prevention is always preferable to cure, and there is still an opportunity to prevent gulls nesting on your roof, we advise householders to visit our gull information pages: https://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/environment/pests-and-infestation/gulls and to take steps early this spring to prevent future nests from being built on your roofs.
What harm do gulls do?
Gulls are wild animals and consequently can become aggressive especially during the breeding season.
When do they cause most problems and why?
Gulls tend to cause problems during the breeding season when they can become noisy and aggressive in protecting their young.
Is the gull population growing year on year?
The gull population in B&NES has experienced an average increase of 11 breeding pairs per year since 2012. This is a reduced growth rate from previous years (Rock, 2015).