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Kes flies again, but this time over Rhyl Promenade
A bird's eye view of Rhyl Promenade, courtesy Denbigshire Council
A bird's eye view of Rhyl front where birds of prey are to fend off gulls

Two Rhyl residents have come up with a plan to tackle the growing problem of nusiance caused by seagulls - training three apprentice falconers

The hope is the presence of hawks in the resort would deter the gulls from resting and nesting within the town centre.

Mike Espley and Rob Davis came up with the idea, saying seagulls have become a serious problem for members of the public, especially if they have food in their hands.

Falconers in Rhyl
Using nature to fight nature: birds of prey take on the gulls

Mike, a Denbighshire councillor, and bird handler Rob are convinced that they can train three unemployed individuals as falconers and a BBC Wales documentary follows their attempts.

The idea has been likened to Ken Loach's 1969 classic film Kes about the relationship between a boy and a kestrel.

It's not an easy job: Falcons won't be controlled by anybody, say the experts.

They return to their owners only if they trust them and that trust has to be earned by providing food - wild rabbit and baby turkey chicks are a favourite - and making sure the falcon is comfortable and receives regular breaks in a custom built aviary.

The documentary follows three young candidates as they build relationships with the birds of prey and train them to deal with the seagulls annoying residents and visitors of Rhyl.

If they're successful, the project could be rolled out into other seaside towns across the north Wales coast.

Planet Wales: Kes Flies Again, Monday, 15 March, BBC One Wales, 10.35pm

Hawk plan to scare resort's gulls
05 Aug 09 |  North east


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