Nesting gulls at Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust

Problem gulls nesting on Royal Cornwall Hospitals' NHS Trust roof

NBC Environment were contacted by the client to advise and provide a solution to prevent historic issues reoccurring with gulls nesting, roosting and defecating faeces which are hazardous to human health on three roof areas.

The three flat roof areas provide the perfect habitat for gulls, providing them with a safe nesting and roosting location.

Maintenance teams were unable to carry out essential servicing of the various air handling units due to the very aggressive behaviour of the gulls which could result in potential injuries due to the threat of gull attacks as these birds defend their territory.

Project overview

One of the three roof areas had an exposed roof top external corridor access route for staff to travel back and forth between units. Staff were unable to use this quick access route due the very aggressive gull behaviour being displayed, this resulted in delays travelling from one unit to the next.

All three of the roof areas had a build-up of gull faeces hazardous to human health and associated nesting materials which if left unprotected there would have been a risk of building structural damage due to potential flooding and water ingress.

Gull faeces build-up is extremely dangerous as the bacterial spores are hazardous to human health as it can become airborne dust which carries micro-organisms and can be inhaled into the lungs leading to respiratory difficulties and other illnesses. This creates a risk not only to the staff on site but members of the general public who are using products that may be contaminated by feral pigeon faeces.

Our solution 

NBC Environment designed and installed two 75mm gull netting systems with stainless steel fixtures and fittings to create a physical barrier in order to deter gulls from entering the areas beneath. This in turn provided secure protection for the maintenance teams to carry out essential servicing of the air handling units.

NBC Environment consulted the client and designed and installed a safe and secure access tunnel using a 75mm gull netting systems with upright support mounting posts with stainless steel fixtures and fittings. This successful design allowed hospital staff to travel safely between the roof top units without risk of injury and attack from the aggressive gulls.

The project was mobilised and carried out over a two day period on time and within the budgeted schedule.

More information on tackling nesting birds

For further information read our article "How to get rid of Seagulls".


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