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Plans to control gull population in Welsh seaside resort abandoned

01 Aug 2023 3 minute read
Residents have been chased by gulls in Rhyl and Kinmel Bay

Richard Evans Local Democracy Reporter

A £20,000 scheme to reduce the number of seagulls in a north Wales seaside resort has been abandoned.

A business group had backed a project to control the gull population without harming or culling the birds.

The Rhyl Business Improvement District – put forward the funds three years ago for a scheme that would have targeted gull eggs before they reached the embryo stage – after a spate of attacks on residents and tourists.

But the business-led partnership has stepped back from the scheme in the face of opposition from animal rights campaigners and potential negative publicity.

Councillor Brian Jones, who sits on the board of the partnership, explained why the scheme never moved forward.

He said: “What you have to realise is there is a lobby of people who really care about seagulls, and they will get pretty upset if you start talking about (reducing the numbers), but there are two sides to the debate.

“There are people who love seagulls. Before Covid, the Rhyl Business Improvement District carried out an exercise and came up with a project in which you could control the breeding of seagulls.

“There are probably somewhere in the region of 500 nesting sites in Rhyl and the immediate area, and there was a legal solution, a liquid solution you can paint on eggs when they have only just been laid, so you are not killing anything, as the embryo hasn’t formed, and you can control the breeding.

“Five-hundred pairs (of gulls), so a thousand chicks times two or three times a year, that’s where your big problem comes from. Where we are now, the breeding season is well under way. The parents are looking for food and swooping or diving in as people are coming out of shops.”

“Flying rats”

One Rhyl resident, who asked not to be named, said there were too many gulls in Rhyl and neighbouring Kinmel Bay in Conwy.

He said: “They are like flying rats. I saw one swoop down and take an ice cream from a child in a pram. When I lived in Kinmel Bay, a woman was making her way to the local doctor’s surgery, and her face was covered in blood. One of the seagulls had attacked her. She had a head injury.”

He added: “These creatures create quite a lot of hassle, and I can’t understand how people can defend them. I’ve been told they won’t be reducing numbers in Rhyl because so many residents oppose it, and the council take notice of that, but they are not listening to people like me who don’t like the creatures. It’s about time something was done about them.”

All wild birds, their nests, and their eggs are protected under section one of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

It is an offence to intentionally or recklessly kill, injure, harm, or interfere with nests.

Despite the law, there are special licences available under the act in which exceptions can be made.

Both Denbighshire County Council and Conwy County Council were approached for comment.


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Steve Woods
Steve Woods
8 months ago

“One Rhyl resident, who asked not to be named, said there were too many gulls in Rhyl and neighbouring Kinmel Bay in Conwy.”

Gulls at the seaside? Whatever next?

Wait until that resident hears the tide comes in and goes out twice a day…

On a serious note, we humans have made life easy for gulls. Our vertical buildings replicate the cliffs on which they typically breed, whilst there’s a more than ample food supply for them in the form of discarded takeaways, etc.

G Horton-Jones.
G Horton-Jones.
8 months ago
Reply to  Steve Woods

A significant source of food comes from farmland after slurry spreading. Seagulls have learnt to paddle for worms
Here in South Pembrokeshire there are daily flights inland returning to the coast at night

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
8 months ago

I agree the seagull population needs controlling, there are far too many of them in some places.

Gaynor
Gaynor
8 months ago
Reply to  Linda Jones

I was leaving my bungalow to go to shops,I had not been feeling to well ,there was Seagulls on my roof as I continued to walk and all of a sudden I felt a smash bang on my head it had knocked me forward,my head was bleeding 🩸 I felt dizzy for a while, I carried on to the shop but I was still feeling shaky when I got home,I am in my late 70s so that is why I think they should be controlled this was the second time it had happened to me,people don’t realise how the attacks… Read more »

Jeff
Jeff
8 months ago

Birds just trying to survive. Humans do enough to wipe out species on this planet, change the way we live, not persecute the birds.
How many has bird flu wiped out?

Finn
Finn
8 months ago

Stop stealing their food and then you will have heavenly peace Guls forever movement 🦤

Dafydd Huw
Dafydd Huw
8 months ago

Avian flu has seriously reduced the populations of seabirds, including gulls. Hasn’t reduced the number of people who leave litter that encourages scavenger behaviour by gulls, crows and rats.

Bethan
Bethan
8 months ago

I like seagulls. They become very aggressive when their chicks are young. That’s when they attack people for even being in a twenty-foot radius of them because the chicks are always nearby. I don’t know how they’d react to people destroying their eggs but I think the Rhyl residents would be starting something. Probably a better idea is to reduce litter to reduce numbers but, it sounds like residents are letting them run that town. People bleeding. Ice creams stolen. Shooing away pests is not animal cruelty.

John seagull
John seagull
8 months ago

They’re not listening to me, ME!

Squack squack squaaaaccckk

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