Bury St Edmunds: No easy fix for gulls problem

The council depot in Olding Road in Bury which has a problem with seagulls. The council depot in Olding Road in Bury which has a problem with seagulls.

Mariam Ghaemi West Suffolk reporter mariam.ghaemi@archant.co.uk
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
9:17 AM

It may take up to five years for a council to rid its depot building in Bury St Edmunds of noisy gulls.

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Last week, Liz Fox, 53, of Robinson Close, Bury, took to social media website Streetlife to see what could be done about the noisy birds, which have been waking her up at 3am most days.

She also submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to St Edmundsbury Borough Council to find out what the council has and is doing to tackle the problem.

In the response she received on Friday, the council said it intended to continue clearing eggs and nests during the nesting season of 2015 and in the years beyond this.

They added: “However, according to experts, it is likely that this eradication process can take anything up to five years where more persistent birds are present.

“Until such time as there is a change in the law that would enable us to cull the birds, we believe we are doing all that is possible to move them on.”

The council has spent £12,000 on the problem over the last three years, with some 700 eggs removed during six visits.

They have also 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.

The council has invited Mrs Fox to see a cage at the depot which was constructed in October 2011 to prevent gulls from accessing waste.

A council spokeswoman said the cage is used by the street scene operatives and contains a skip, which they fill with what they collect from litter bins around town and then gets taken to the waste transfer station at Red Lodge.

In the FOI response the council said: “We believe that we have all but eradicated access to waste on site...and the birds are obtaining their food from sources further away.”

The council has been employing specialists to clear the eggs in a joint enterprise with its neighbours who share the building, the NHS and DHL Logistics.

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