Bath & North East Somerset Council is extending its successful campaign to tackle the gull menace.
The Council has allocated funding, on a permanent basis, for free roof treatments to remove gull nests and eggs in areas of Bath where evidence confirms large or increasing numbers of breeding pairs.
In addition to Abbey, Kingsmead, Newbridge, Twerton, Westmoreland and Widcombe, the wards of Bathwick, Combe Down, Lyncombe, Oldfield, Odd Down and Southdown will now be included in the scheme. These extra wards have been added in response to concerns that gulls maybe being displaced into these areas, following treatments in the more central wards.
Cllr Bob Goodman (Conservative, Combe Down), Cabinet Member for Development & Neighbourhoods, said: “Gulls can be a real menace and during the breeding season, which runs from April to August, they can become noisy and aggressive. We know that reducing their numbers is a key priority for residents, which is why we are extending our successful free roof treatment scheme. Everyone can do their bit to help. If there are nests on your roof and you are in one of the areas covered by the scheme, call and ask for a free roof treatment; make sure you use your food waste bins, and don’t feed the gulls – you’re not helping your community or the birds.”
The Council has allocated £55k from the 2018/19 budget, along with additional support from the Bath Business Improvement District, to tackle the gull problem in Bath and North East Somerset.
Following a tendering process, NBC Environment have been awarded a three-year contract to carry out the work on behalf of the Council.
NBC Environment said: “Last year we removed in the region of 1000 eggs and 400 nests from properties in Bath and North East Somerset. We’ll shortly be visiting all affected wards and will begin the first round of roof treatments as the gulls start building their nests. We’ll be contacting existing customers and will try to call on as many properties as possible. If you think you have a gull problem and live in one of the wards covered by the scheme please contact us as soon as possible”.
Gulls will typically start nest building in mid-April so be vigilant and start looking to see if you can see any nesting activity on your roof.
Treatment cannot be fully booked until there is confirmation that a nest has been built. It can be difficult to confirm this when you may not be able to see your entire roof, so some useful indications that a nest may be present are:
• Increased activity, with gulls travelling back and forth with twigs and nesting material.
• The nest is formed in two to three days, after which one of the pair will be seen sitting on the nest.
• In the early stages, you will see a pair sitting close together, usually close to where the nest will be formed.
• You will also often see an increase in aggression from the adult gulls swooping at anyone or anything that gets too close. NBC Environment will need permission from the property owner before they access a roof. They also need to make sure that your roof can be accessed safely.
If you believe there is a nest on your roof, please contact NBC Environment on 0800 169 9646 (Please select the option for the Customer Service team) or complete a web form on the Council website: www.bathnes.gov.uk/gulls
The roof treatments are part of a series of measures being put in place to tackle the gull problem, supported by Bath & North East Somerset Council. There will also be further work encouraging everyone to keep the streets clear of litter and waste.