Page last updated at 15:37 GMT, Thursday, 26 March 2009

Menacing seagulls tackled by pupils

Falcon patrols were due to start in the town this week

Seagulls have been causing havoc in a Scottish town, prompting students at a local school to investigate the problem.

This week falcons are being introduced to the skies above Dumfries in a bid to prevent the seagulls nesting.

The falcon flights are part of a three-year strategy to tackle the menace seagulls, some of which have been known to attack local people.

Students at St Joseph's College have been chatting to locals about how they think the problem should be dealt with.

Liam, 13, who was himself attacked by the birds, said most locals felt the seagulls should not be harmed, and welcomed the falcon flights.

"They want to get rid of the seagulls, but don't want to see them hurt, " he said.


"The birds are only trying to protect their nests and there is no reason why they should be harmed,"

But Liam admitted his own encounter with the birds left him shaken.

"I was walking through an alley and saw a nest and the gulls began squawking at me," he said.

"The one of them swooped down, so I started to walk a bit faster but it hit me on the hit.

"It felt like I'd been hit by a rock, and my head was pretty sore for a while.

"If it had happened to someone who wasn't has fit and healthy as me then it could have really hurt them."

Liam's fellow reporter, Matthew, interviewed Mike, who is in charge of the falcon patrol scheme.

"The seagulls can sense the falcons and it freaks them out. They won't want to come back again," he explained.

English teacher Fiona Purdie said the pupils had enjoyed working on the story.

"The pupils came up with the story idea and researched it themselves, so it's great they can go home and show their parents on the website.

"It has also helped them get involved in the local community."


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