Residents across South Somerset are being urged to feed the litter bins and not the birds in town centres this spring and summer.
South Somerset District Council are advising people to ensure litter is put in bins provided and not to feed seagulls and pigeons that congregate in many areas of town centres.
The feathered creatures are a nuisance to town centre businesses and the council as well as visitors and shoppers who don’t like being pestered or facing the unlucky prospect of bird droppings landing on them.
A spokesman for SSDC said, “There is a huge amount of information available to help people deal with local seagull issues, but there is one rule we should all abide by: Don’t feed the seagulls. Make sure rubbish is put into bins and food is not left out for seagulls to scavenge. Businesses can also help by ensuring lids are placed on bins and that they are not overflowing with waste.”
Although more seagulls are now nesting on the roofs of urban towns, overall the UK seagull population has been going down. When seagulls are fed regularly it creates an artificially high population and encourages further breeding pairs to take up residence in the area.
Like all other wild birds, seagulls are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, making it an offence to intentionally injure or kill any seagull, or to take, damage or destroy an active nest or its contents.
If you would like to find out more about discouraging seagulls where you live, visit http://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/community-and-advice/garden-advice/unwantedvisitors/gulls/index.aspx or you can seek advice from SSDC by calling 01935 462462.