Urban gulls are an issue for many towns and cities throughout the South West. Whilst we can action situations that may attract gulls, such as poor house-keeping within premises, there is no legislation that enables the Council to control them effectively.
Update: 9 June 2017
Since starting our treatment programme at the beginning of April, almost 200 premises have registered for free egg and nest removal treatments in the wards of Abbey, Kingsmead, Newbridge, Twerton, Widcombe and Westmoreland. As we are now at the stage of the breeding season when chicks are hatching, we are not able to register any new requests for treatments.
Further information about gulls and our treatment programme, including signs of nesting activity, can be found in our FAQs.
What areas specifically get free roof treatments? How have these areas been chosen?
Areas which qualify for the free treatments are: the Bath wards of Abbey, Kingsmead, Newbridge, Twerton, Westmoreland and Widcombe.
The former Welton Bibby factory site in Midsomer Norton is also being treated as well as some Council owned buildings in the city centre of Bath.
These locations have been chosen because evidence confirms large or increasing numbers of breeding pairs of gulls.
I live outside the designated areas. I know there are gulls in my area but I can’t get free roof treatments – why not?
The Council is prioritising its funding on those areas where there is evidence of a large population of breeding pairs or where there is evidence of a significant increase in the number of breeding pairs.
What does the roof treatment actually involve?
It involves the removal of the substantive structure of nests and any eggs through accessing your roof using a mobile platform. The contractor will firstly assess whether it is safe for the treatment to be completed and if so, continue.
If the nest is very difficult to access then it is possible that the treatment will not be able to be completed.
The roof will be revisited on a 21 day cycle to check if any further nests/eggs are present.
How much will this cost me?
The gull nest and egg removal treatment will be free if you live in one of the designated areas. Any further proofing treatments will be charged by NBC Environment at a discounted rate.
Will you be using hawks?
Yes, the contractor may use hawks to deter the gulls away from roofs whilst the treatment is being undertaken.
How much has this campaign cost?
The Council invested £85,000 in 2016/17 and will be investing £57,000 in 2017/18 in this campaign.
How will you measure the success of the campaign?
The contractor will be providing up to date information on how many treatments are being completed, how many nests are being removed and how many eggs are being removed in each area. We will also be contacting customers to gauge whether they believe improvements have been achieved for them as a result of the treatments.
Last year 105 premises received at least 3 visits and1150 eggs and 469 nests were removed. A telephone survey of 32 customers was carried out and opinions were generally very positive.
How do you know this is the best way of tackling the issue?
These techniques have been used by other local authorities who have similar issues with gulls.
What harm do gulls do?
Gulls are wild animals and consequently can become aggressive especially during the breeding season.
When do they cause most problems and why?
Gulls tend to cause
problems during the breeding season when they can become noisy and aggressive in protecting their young.
Is the gull population growing year on year?
The gull population in B&NES has experienced an average increase of 11 breeding pairs per year since 2012. This is a reduced growth rate from previous years (Rock, 2015).