Questions are being asked about the menace posed by a fast growing population of seagulls which have made themselves at home in Carbrain.
Their droppings, ear-splitting cries, ever-expanding families and brazen bids to scoop up food at all hours have won them few fans – amidst fears that they are a health hazard.
This issue is nothing new – over the years we’ve seen a trial nest removal scheme, then local councillor Willie Homer calling for a cull, Cumbernauld and Kilsyth MSP Jamie Hepburn raising the matter in the Scottish Parliament and the Cumbernauld Gull Dispute page on Facebook petitioning North Lanarkshire Council ... all to no avail.
Now residents have taken to the Next Door website to share their frustrations, with several hitting out at neighbours for actively feeding the birds.
Among the comments are: “They are here virtually all year now. My roof can’t take another year of this, and neither can my sanity.”
“I’ve had protection put on my roof two years in a row and the seagulls actually tore it off.”
“The determining factor is the availability of food, reason we have so many gulls is abundance of food for them, including people actively feeding them.
“If any of your neighbours are actively feeding gulls, they should be discouraged from doing so as they are contributing to the problem as are anyone who is discarding food outside the fast food outlets in the town.”
“Doesn’t help when people throw food out for them. Sitting having a BBQ with the wife and our garden becomes swarmed because our next door neighbour throws food out onto his garage for them. Why on earth do people do this?”
“My neighbour feeds seagulls three times a day, they squawk all day and night, poo on my washing and windows and even on our heads daily.”
“NLC has done nothing to resolve this issue ... sleepless nights now 365 24/7.”
The birds are a protected species so North Lanarkshire Council says its hands are tied, but urged the public not to feed them.
A spokesman said: “Gulls can bring many problems to communities such as noise, fouling, property damage and can become aggressive especially in summer when they are nesting.
“North Lanarkshire Council cannot deal with gulls directly as a nuisance for a household however, the biggest deterrent is not to provide food sources for gulls and ensuring that any waste food is disposed of correctly in closed containers.
“They are attracted by waste thrown away in streets especially and will ‘learn’ where rich pickings can be found locally.
“There is helpful advice and background information on the RSPB website www.rspb.org.uk under urban gulls that explains the law in relation to birds and what can and cannot be done.”