SEAGULL attacks on Cumbernauld residents have sparked calls for action, but representatives warn there is little which can be done.
Councillors report that they are concerned about increasing numbers of reports involving gulls attacking people who live near their nesting sites.
SNP councillor Willie Goldie commented: “I have had complaints from Broomlands Road, Greenrigg and Millcroft but this problem not only restricted to Carbrain.” Mr Goldie added that Abbotsford Court and areas of Greenfaulds had also seen reported attacks.
Another SNP councillor for that area, Paddy Hogg, added: “I have been helping a few people in the Carbrain area who have gotten in touch. It’s hard to see a solution though - you can’t legally cull seagulls. We might be able to remove a few nests but there’s no way to stop them coming back to the area.”
Mark Findlay, environmental protection manager, said: “We’re aware that a lot of people in North Lanarkshire are having trouble with gulls. It’s the time of year when the gulls are nesting and protecting chicks, so they tend to be very noisy and particularly aggressive.
“Unfortunately there’s very little the council can do about them – they’re not considered a pest in terms of Scottish environmental health legislation; in fact they’re a protected species.
“It’s the responsibility of individual property owners to take measures to prevent gulls nesting, or to deal with them once they have nested. However, anyone attempting to remove nests or eggs must have the appropriate licence, or they will be liable to prosecution.”
However, a trial nest removal scheme is currently ongoing in Carbrain.
A Royal Society for the Protection of Birds spokesman added: “The herring gull population has dropped by 40 per cent since 1970, and other gull populations have dropped by a third. This is due to environmental changes which have affected the food chain.”
Campbell Kinloch, Sanctuary in Scotland’s head of housing and communities, said: “There are issues every summer with nesting seagulls in Carbrain, but nests are protected by law. Resident concerns have been conveyed to North Lanarkshire Council’s environmental services team.”