Our client acts on behalf of a landlord in Cheltenham, who owns a small industrial estate. Like many areas of Gloucestershire this particular industrial estate has been plagued with gulls nesting on roofs, dive-bombing people and generally causing a mess.
Gulls are intelligent small to large seabirds which inhabit coastal areas and inland urban areas. There are many types of gulls but most are white, grey and black when mature. When gulls are nesting they will return to the same site each year unless access is restricted, the site is rendered unusable or there is a gull deterrent in place
As gulls were causing serious issues for our client we put together a bird management program to help resolve the issue. We had to make sure that the action taken stayed within the guidelines laid out by Natural England.
Because of changes to the General Licence and how gulls are viewed, in particular to their decline nationally, it is important to employ the correct legal approach to deterring them. Often bird proofing is a solution but in this situation this isn't cost effective due to size of estate.
In order to safely achieve a non-lethal deterrent an audible distress system was installed which emitted a gulls distress call at different times of the day and in different directions, hawk kites were installed and finally in addition to this a falconry response program to deter gulls from nesting on the roof areas was started.
As the gulls have been in the vicinity for many years, and they don’t reach sexual maturity until 2-3 years of age this will be a long process. However as the gulls begin to recognise that a predator is in the area and it is not a safe place to be their behaviour will be changed and they move to pastures new, early evidence has already shown this after just one season on the estate.
Find out more about our Gull Control
For further reading, visit our article, "How To Get Rid of Seagulls."