The herring gull population was effecting the community in Scarborough and Whitby considerably due to their aggressive and noisy behaviour and not to mention the damage to property.
In March 2017, NBC Environment were contracted to conduct a one year trial of a Herring Gull disruption and dispersal programme. Back at the start of the programme, we wrote an article discussing the steps we were going to take in order to reduce the number of Herring gulls in the Scarborough and Whitby area. We spoke about the need for the programme, the legislation and when the programme was going to be taking place.
More than just providing a bird solutions service, we’ve been working with Scarborough Borough Council to inform the public about the risks of feeding gulls, including TV and radio promotions, signage throughout busy community areas and are liaising with local packaging suppliers to implement a “Do not feed the birds” notice on packaging. We’ve supported many open days to educate the public on our service, the legislation we work under and explain the simple changes they can action themselves to minimise the effects of nuisance gulls. Our ultimate goal is stopping the gulls being fed. Our food is not their natural food source and not good for them.
2017’s trial programme proved to be so successful NBC were commissioned for the 2018 bird breeding season and also contracted to conduct the same programme of works in the Filey area. 2018 proved even more successful. Below are the facts and figures, which show just how much of an improvement we have made to the herring gull population within the three areas:
Overall totals for whole of herring gulls breeding season in Whitby (April to August 2018):
70 nests removed (compared to 145 nests in 2017);
134 eggs removed (all in either May or June) (compared to 218 eggs in 2017);
Overall totals for whole of herring gulls breeding season in Scarborough (April to August 2018):
260 nests removed (compared to 354 nests in 2017);
377 eggs removed (all in either May or June) (compared to 634 eggs in 2017);
Overall totals for whole of herring gulls breeding season in Filey (April to August 2018):
53 nests removed – no comparisons available from previous years – 1st year programme implemented in Filey;
33 eggs removed (all in May) – no comparisons available from previous years – 1st year programme implemented in Filey;
We’ve seen a significant 34% reduction in the number of nests removed and 40% reduction in eggs removed.
Proving that the gulls in the area are changing their behaviour.