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Last Updated: Monday, 8 March, 2004, 09:04 GMT
Scare tactics used on gulls
Seagulls at landfill site
Seagulls scavenge at Hempstead landfill site
Fireworks, loud music and birds-of-prey recordings are being used to help rid Gloucester of its seagull problem.

It is hoped the scare tactics will stop the birds feeding at Hempstead landfill site on the edge of the city.

The two-week trial will be closely monitored to see which technique is the most effective.

Gloucester is believed to have the UK's biggest infestation of gulls - an estimated 20,000 feed at the tip at any one time.

Experts believe the birds have been driven inland to scavenge, due to a decline in fishguts being dumped at sea by trawlers.

In the city, the colonies thrive on readily available supplies of food, an abundance of rooftop nesting sites and a lack of any natural predators.

Gloucester's residents have been leafleted about the experiment and have been warned there might be an increase in gulls in other areas of the city.

The problem led to the city hosting the country's first-ever national conference on the subject last year.

Afterwards, the Gloucester Gull Action Group was formed to look at potential solutions.

The group's chairman Councillor Chris Witts said: "This is a national problem, not a Gloucester phenomenon.

"There will be no easy answer. If this trial proves successful then our hope is that we can begin to slow down the massive growth in the city gull colony".

Experts flock to tackle urban gulls
20 Nov 03  |  Gloucestershire


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