Bird nests in the soup!

Free roof treatments to remove gull nests are soon to be on offer in Bath and North East Somerset as one of many measures being taken by the Council to deter the gull problem in the area.

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NBC Bird and Pest Solutions was awarded a contract in an open tender process this week to remove nests for free in designated areas where evidence confirms large or increasing numbers of breeding pairs.

The company will also be using birds of prey as an additional way of deterring gulls from nesting in areas where they see the predators. Something l think has been tried in the city in the past!

The work is part of a series of trial measures to deter gulls from settling in the city, for which the Council has earmarked £85,000, as part of an innovative 18-month project that was approved by the Cabinet last month.

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The roof of the Bath Guildhall will be treated, and the areas which qualify for the free treatments are the wards of Abbey, Kingsmead, Newbridge, Twerton, Westmoreland and Widcombe. The programme will also target a former factory site in Midsomer Norton.

Councillor Martin Veal (Conservative, Bathavon North), Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “This timely announcement at the start of the gull breeding season shows the Council’s leadership in moving forward with its Gull Strategy with the award of this contract to NBC Bird and Pest Solutions, a reputable national bird and wildlife management company.

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Councillor Martin Veal (Conservative, Bathavon North), Cabinet Member for Community Services, with Harvey Pinniger, of NBC Bird and Pest Solutions, and one of the company’s Harris Hawks, on the roof of Bath Abbey.

“Residents and businesses will be able to request for the company to carry out an assessment of gull nests on their roofs and we will be keeping a close eye on the results as part of the new strategy’s approach of gathering evidence to provide a clear steer on future intervention work.P1140571

“This work is part of the Council’s co-ordinated approach to the gull problem, which also includes reducing access to food sources and encouraging everyone to do their bit to keep the streets clear of litter and waste and to not feed the gulls.”

Ian Cain, Technical Director from NBC Bird and Pest Solutions, said: “NBC Bird and Pest Solutions very much looks forward to partnering with Bath & North East Somerset Council and its residential and business community on this important gull deterrent programme. NBC is the UK’s leading bird management experts, and our teams have been providing tried and tested licenced nest management services alongside falconry deterrents since 1993.”
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As part of the project, the Council is also working with University of the West of England and Middlesex University to carry out research into gull behaviour.

Council officers are working with behavioural ecology and psychology students at the universities to map and track the behaviour of the gulls as they interact with their food sources and nesting sites.

Further information will be issued shortly on how residents and businesses can access the free roof assessments and treatments.