Residents, businesses and international visitors are being urged to join forces with Bath & North East Somerset Council and Bath Business Improvement District (BID) to tackle the gull menace by taking part in a new campaign.
The Don’t Feed the Gulls campaign is intended to build on existing work to deal with the gull problem and encourage everyone in the area to consider the role they can play in combating litter and detritus.
In what is believed to be the first initiative of its kind, Bath & North East Somerset Council is putting notices on bins around Bath urging visitors: “Please Don’t Feed the Gulls” – in English, French and Mandarin.
This innovative approach for the campaign is just one of the ideas to be developed out of a public inquiry day, held by the Council last November, to discuss a variety of ways for dealing with the gull nuisance.
Cllr David Dixon (Lib-Dem, Oldfield), Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “We are hoping to appeal to as many people as possible – from our local residents and businesses to international visitors – to help us tackle the gull menace.
“Urban gulls create mess by scavenging waste bags, spreading their droppings on buildings and being very noisy. Gulls are attracted to areas where food is plentiful and where there are attractive nesting sites, so there are things we can all do to help tackle the problem in Bath and North East Somerset.”
The Council is also distributing leaflets to businesses in the City offering advice on how they can help with the gull problem – including spreading the word by putting a “Don’t Feed the Gulls” poster in their windows. Both the leaflet and the poster are available from the website: http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/dontfeedthegulls.
Andrew Cooper, Chief Executive of Bath BID, said: “Everyone wants to enjoy the world heritage city of Bath without being plagued by seagulls and pigeons. Food waste is a big part of the problem and the Bath BID has already worked with businesses to take more action by providing them with seagull proof bags, thereby disposing of food waste more responsibly.
“Any action that residents, business and visitors can take to eliminate the food source of gulls and other pests is welcome. I urge businesses to get in touch to obtain a poster and put this up where they can to reinforce the message.”
As part of the campaign to tackle the problems caused by gulls, the Council will be introducing “gull-resistant” reusable rubbish bags to around 450 more homes in Bath in August – bringing the total up to more than 2,700 homes.
A special leaflet is also being distributed to local residents which embraces the following key actions:
Dispose of your waste responsibly, from your home or when out and about.
Reduce the food supply to gulls – use your food waste recycling collection. Don’t put food waste in rubbish bags as gulls will attack these easily. Your food bin is lockable so it is bird and animal proof.
Put out your recycling and rubbish by 7am on your collection day or after 8pm the night before. The closer to 7am you put it out the better, leaving less time for scavenging.
Don’t feed birds in parks, open spaces or on the street. If you are out in the City please put your rubbish in one of the bins.
Let us know if you spot gulls attacking waste and making a mess so that we can help.
The Council’s webpage provides more information about the actions that people can take to support the Don’t Feed the Gulls campaign: http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/dontfeedthegulls.