‘Do not feed the seagulls’

Bridlington Harbour Top'Message to visitors to not feed the Gull'PA1213-26
Bridlington Harbour Top'Message to visitors to not feed the Gull'PA1213-26

WHILE giant seagulls are a common sight on Bridlington’s coastline, none are quite as big as two spotted at Bridlington Harbour last week.

Gaz the Gull, along with Cilla the Seagull, joined East Riding of Yorkshire Council officers and members of Bridlington Town Improvement Forum last Friday to raise awareness about the problems caused by feeding seagulls.

Gaz and his gang talked to people about keeping the area tidy, and encouraging people not to feed birds their leftover chips or bread.

Helen Jackson, Bridlington Renaissance Project co-ordinator, said: “We are working with the Town Improvement Forum and Streetscene services to pass the message on not to feed gulls, and to dispose of waste in a proper manner.

“Lots of people that we have spoken to have been very appreciative of the message we have been giving out, and people have said especially that they didn’t know feeding gulls human food can be bad for them.”

Last year, the Free Press reported on cases of seagulls attacking people in the town, with one elderly woman breaking her pelvis falling over after she was swooped by nesting seagulls near her home.

Another man, visiting the town on holiday, was swooped and pecked on the top of the head by a seagull while at Bridlington Harbour, leaving him requiring treatment from paramedics for deep puncture wounds.

“Of course, birds are always going to be around sea-side towns,” Helen continued. “But hopefully if people do not feed them, then coming to the harbour or the sea front for food won’t be as attractive for the birds.”

In common with many seaside towns, sea birds are attracted by the food that is available around the harbour, in the town centre and on the promenades.

Councillor Jane Evison, portfolio holder for public protection, said: “There is no easy answer to dealing with the gull problem. However, the situation could be improved if people were discouraged from feeding the gulls and ensured that any food waste and litter were disposed of properly.”

Many of the sea birds in Bridlington are protected species and disturbing nesting sites is an offence.

However, the council’s Public Protection team does offer advice on discouraging birds from roosting on buildings. For further information on pest control, please call the helpline 01482 396301.

l Also during the day, members of East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Streetscene service were handing out bags to dog owners, to remind them to clean up after their pet.

The bags, bought by the Bridlington Civic Society to be handed out around the harbour, were given away free to dog owners throughout the day.

Don Steel, Streetscene enforcement officer, said: “We have had a good reaction. Lots of people have said ‘no thanks’ because they have brought their own bags with them which is great - but being on hand if dog owners might have forgot is useful and might remind them in the future. We all want our streets, as well as the harbour, to look its best.”