The gull nesting season is rapidly approaching – so Worcester residents and businesses are being urged to try alternative tactics to discourage the birds from nesting on the roofs of local properties.
Regularly opening and shutting skylight windows or doors, using an extended pole or long garden cane to tap loudly on roof areas and physically making your presence known could help to make your roof less attractive as a nesting place.Now is the time to take action, as gulls will be scouring the city over the next two to three weeks looking for prime spots on which to settle.
Worcestershire Regulatory Services' new gull officer, Gordon Dugan, has been visiting residential and business properties in the city to help owners find the best way to deter the birds.He has also applied to central Government advisers Natural England for a licence to remove gull eggs and replace them with dummy eggs from nests on premises in the city.
One resident of Britannia Square in Worcester said:"We are able to have a human presence at a skylight daily and, so far, there is no sign of gull activity on our properties or on our immediate neighbours'."
Other residents in the Square are collaborating to open their skylights and appear out of them regularly, create noise, shine torches at night and use a garden cane to make tapping noises around their roofs.
The City Council is investing £30,000 in the 2020/21 financial year to help businesses and residents tackle the problem – and an additional £5,000 to pay for an extendable cherry picker to give the capacity to remove nests from high and previously inaccessible roofing areas in some parts of the city.
"We have increased our budget and resources this year to deter gulls from nesting on Worcester rooftops," says Cllr Joy Squires, Chair of the City Council's Environment Committee.
"I would urge residents and business owners who have had previous problems to make their presence known to potential nesters as much as possible over the next few weeks. Increased noise and human presence will definitely make your roof a much less attractive place for gulls to settle on."
Eliminating food sources for gulls is critical and to this end, Worcester City Council is working with local food outlets to ensure that food is properly disposed of and that lids on trade waste bins are fully closed.
Last year the City Council installed 22 new gull-proof litter bins and six recycling bins in the city centre.Many of the open-topped small bins have also been replaced with larger, covered bins.
Deterring Gulls – things we can all do
For further information, go to www.worcester.gov.uk/gulls