Previously the owl has been used to keep them at bay; that was before the protected bird status was applied to seagulls.
The plastic owl mounted on a boat in Ilfracombe harbour, used by Barnstaple Rotary Club to ward off unwanted feathered guests in their charity shop in Barnstaple, might have worked but a number of people nationwide agree seagulls are now becoming a serious health risk.
The people of Ilfracombe obviously need something to control the mess the seagulls make, they multiply in quite large numbers and are damaging roofs, filling up gutters with garbage and droppings and are not averse to pooing on people and stealing food out of their hands, James, 12, assures me.
Something must be done to control them as they are reaching epidemic proportions, so let’s use our intelligence and ward them off with a bird of prey.
Archie, 6, suggests an electronically operated one that not only flies over the area affected but also makes the sound of a bird of prey.
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Maybe birth control is the answer in the short term, but Bristol years ago sported a Captain Courage who suggested that, as he sat on his bollard in Bristol Harbour: “If you want to keep Britain tidy, eat a seagull a day.”
S M Nutton, North Devon
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