Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 13°C


Bury St Edmunds: Council’s £12k payout to help clear noisy gulls from its own depot roof

12:00 25 July 2014

Gulls posed a problem for the council

Gulls posed a problem for the council

(c) copyright

Noisy gulls have left a council with a bill of £12,000 so far.


St Edmundsbury Borough Council has been working to try and ease the problem of the increasing pairs of breeding gulls on the roof of its Olding Road depot in Bury St Edmunds, and the NHS Supply Chain building nearby.

Liz Fox, of Robinson Close, started off the discussion about the issue on social media website, saying: “They are waking me up at 3am most days, does anyone know why they have appeared and what can be done?”

A borough council spokeswoman said they had spent £12,000 on the problem over the last three years, with some 700 eggs removed during six visits.

She said: “We know that the number of breeding pairs of gulls on the roof of our Olding Road depot, and the NHS Supply Chain building, have been on the increase over the last four years or so and we have been carrying out work to try to ease the problem.

“We do not have any food waste out in the open. We have used bird scarers, cleared debris from the roof, and employed a bird of prey and handler to try to deter the gulls from the site.”

She added: “It is illegal to cull live gulls but clearance of nests and eggs can be carried out by specialists.”

But Will Dale, who lives in Bury’s Northgate Avenue and joined in with the discussion on Streetlife, told this newspaper he did not think the borough council was doing enough to tackle the problem.

He said: “Clearly there is something that is attracting these birds to this particular location. The council have been aware [of the problem] for a number of years now and I don’t think what they are doing has been effective.”

Councillor Terry Clements, borough council cabinet member with responsibility for environmental health, said: “The experts believe that by regularly clearing eggs, the birds will be put off using the site as they will think it is a bad breeding ground.

“We have made sure there is absolutely no food source on our site, although obviously they are flying to somewhere off site to get their food. It is food litter which attracts birds, so we would ask people to take their rubbish home or put it in a bin.

“We will continue with our efforts to deter the gulls, but unfortunately there is no quick fix.”

A spokeswoman for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said the increasing number of gulls seen in urban areas disguised a significant decline in overall UK populations over the past 25 years.

“The RSPB believe that gull problems in an urban environment are best tackled by managing the availability of food and nest sites because, if the features that attract gulls remain, any ‘vacancies’ created by controlling existing gulls will simply be filled by other gulls moving in.”

The Olding Road depot houses the council’s vehicle fleet, including waste collection vehicles.



Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Terry Kidgell is staging a star-studded show at the Ipswich Regent on Monday, October 12, in aid of Macmillan after he was diagnosed with terminal bowl cancer. One of those appearing will be his niece Robyn Mellor, currently starring on London's West End. The other will be America’s Got Talent 2015 winner Paul Zerdin.
Terry with his niece Robyn.

What would you do if you were told you had just months to live? For Terry Kidgell, diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer in August, the answer was simple – throw a charity gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

A broken down train between Diss and Norwich has caused the disruption

Save the Duke Share Launch, led by campaigners Sarah Caston and Lucy Batchelor-Wylam

A community campaign launched at the end of August to save a village’s pub has raised more than 40% of the money it needs.

Police are appealing for witnesses after a fail to stop collision on the A14 at Nacton.

Alcohol was repeatedly sold to underage drinkers in Ipswich

An Ipswich man has pleaded guilty to selling alcohol to children from his shop.

The homeless in Ipswich tuck in to a hot meal at the Ipswich Winter Night Shelter. Photograph Simon Parker

The Ipswich Winter Night Shelter has launched a drive for volunteers ahead of opening its doors on December 2.

Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central

A major conference aimed at pushing ahead with dramatic changes to Ipswich town centre is to be held at the end of this month.

Motorists were sent on a diversion nearly 30miles (47.7km) long

We all bemoan the diversions which close the highways and byways of Suffolk when roadworks are set up.

The Northgate High School team competing at a regional heat in Ford Dunton

Northgate High School pupils are preparing for a grand prix experience as they compete in the finals of the Greenpower International Kit Car competition.

Work is being stepped up at hospitals in Suffolk and north Essex to deal with “bed blocking” after new figures revealed more than 38,000 “bed days” have been lost because of the issue since 2012.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages