Local businesses are being urged to act now to deter gulls from nesting on or near their premises.
Worcestershire Regulatory Services' new gull officer, Dan Walker, has extensive experience in controlling gull populations and has visited over 25 local businesses this year to help curb the problem.
One of them is Humberstones, a business transfer agency based on the modern K2 office complex on The Tything in Worcester.
Humberstones director Konrad Szymanski worked with K2 to remove old nests and debris from the building's roof top, put up spikes to stop birds perching and is also considering putting up netting.
"Not only do we have offices here on the top floor with a beautiful atrium roof, but I am also lucky enough to live in the residential complex behind. However, that meant we were exposed to the noise and mess 24/7 and decided to take some action," explains Konrad.
"Following meetings with Joy last year, the Worcester Gull Forum was set up. This allows business owners and residents to work with the Council and feel they have a voice. The Council recently replaced all the open bins in the Tything which means that gulls cannot access waste food and packaging placed in them. This has been a great step forward."
Eliminating food sources for gulls is critical and to this end, Worcester City Council is working with local takeaways to ensure that food is properly disposed of and that lids on trade waste bins are fully closed.
"Businesses, the Council, residents and visitors need to work together to reduce Worcester's gull population," says Cllr Joy Squires, Chair of the City Council's Environment Committee.
"We all enjoy eating outdoors in the summer, but it is really essential that any leftovers are wrapped up and disposed of immediately in a gull-proof bin.
"There are several steps which businesses can take to stop gulls nesting on their roofs – so please do contact our new gull officer if you need advice or assistance."
The City Council will be installing 22 new gull-proof litter bins and six recycling bins in the city centre over the next few months. Many of the open topped small bins have also been replaced with larger, covered bins in the city centre. Gull-proof waste sacks are available for businesses and city centre residents who wish to try them.
In May the Council's contractor obtained a licence from Natural England which allows for the removal of eggs from gulls' nests in the city, which are then replaced by dummy eggs.
Worcester BID is also working alongside Worcester City Council, launching a 'Please Don't Be Gull-ible' marketing campaign as part of its Attractive City initiative. Posters have been placed around the city centre and Worcester BID is offering posters and window stickers to its member businesses to help the message reach as many people as possible.
Worcester BID will also be adopting a cutting-edge digital approach by launching a geofencing initiative in the run up to the Worcester Food Festival on 27 and 28 July, helping to prevent visitors' food from being snatched while they enjoy the festival.
Businesses: how to deter gulls
For further information, go to www.worcester.gov.uk/gulls