The perception of gulls can be very negative because of the many serious problems they can cause during the breeding season. They block drains with their nests and contaminate everywhere with guano which can cause disease, flooding, slips, trips and falls and they are very noisy, especially if they nest in a residential area and are very aggressive defending their nests and territory, which can cause fear or even injury. These are only a few of the issues they cause.
You may not be aware, but seagull numbers are drastically in decline, and some are even categorised as red endangered, such as the most common Herring Gull, seen in our seaside and coastal towns as well as in many cities. Because of this decline legislation has been updated to offer more protection to gulls.
However, we still must deal with the problems they cause and to do so you now require a special licence, particularly when there are health and safety concerns. A licence would allow you, in some instances to remove nests which are built in the wrong location and remove even problem chicks, which have not yet had time to fledge.
Most outcomes for those nests and chicks is they cannot always be safely relocated.
There is one other option, which NBC have worked to develop, when we participated last year whilst working with Naturescot. NBC contacted local wildlife rescue centres to see if there was an opportunity to relocate the eggs and chicks which we needed to remove for health and safety reasons by giving them into their care. These centres would attempt to hatch the egg and raise the chicks until they are able to fledge. This was welcomed by many, and we continue to offer this service.
This opportunity is available in selected sites where this facility exists. NBC Environment have already made a positive step in offering this to our customers which requires only an additional support cost for the rewilding centre to be able to fund this work.
We have found a lot of companies and people understand the importance of sustaining our wildlife and promoting being a truly ethical business and are willing to participate in this programme.