Council calls on public to help reduce seagull nuisance

Posted on: 24 April 2017

North Devon Council is calling on the public to help with a recent rise in seagull problems in the district.

The council’s environmental protection team routinely receives calls from local residents, particularly in urban areas, reporting noise disturbance, droppings, litter problems and even gull attacks.

As seagulls are now in their nesting season they are busy looking for extra food to rear their young. People carrying shopping bags and snacks are an easy target for hungry gulls and bags of rubbish and litter bins make for easy pickings. Nesting gulls can also become over-protective and territorial, and will swoop or dive on anyone who comes near.

Many of the council’s litter bins have been adapted to prevent access by gulls. In some streets, residents who don’t have wheelie bins use gull guards or blankets to cover bagged waste left out for collection, which helps prevent the bags being attacked and split open by gulls.

Although these issues can’t be completely overcome, there are some things local residents can do to help:

  • do not feed seagulls (either at home or in a public place)
  • report gull problems caused by people feeding seagulls to the council
  • use gull guards, an old blanket or tarpaulin to cover bagged waste left out for collection
  • keep wheelie bin and communal bin lids closed

Andy Cole, North Devon Council’s service lead for environmental protection says,”Seagulls are part of life by the sea, but in urban areas they can become a big problem. We want to work together with local residents to try and curb the nuisance they cause and there are some really simple ways you can help.

“Some residents continue to feed gulls, either in the street or their own garden or yard. Gulls are more likely to nest where there is a constant food source and if you are feeding the birds, they will make themselves at home. This can cause a lot of problems for neighbouring properties and we need it to stop. If you are tempted to feed seagulls, please don’t.  We consider feeding gulls to be anti-social behaviour and we will follow up reports from concerned residents and take action if necessary.”

North Devon Council residents can report gull problems to environmental health online at or call 01271 388870.

6 comments on “Council calls on public to help reduce seagull nuisance

  1. Nick says:

    Our gull guard has been stolen today while we were at work. Could you advise us how to get a replacement please?

  2. Caroline Oakford says:

    Dear Sirs/Madams,
    I am very concerned about the growing number of Seagulls in our estate in Exeter. The noise is unbearable from 5am until 9pm. They nest on the roof opposite despite the house owners installing wire spikes onto their roofs. They return each year & have 3 baby gulls every time. The babies stay on the roof, screeching & shouting for food ALL DAY. As a close we do not leave rubbish out, we do not feed them, we all have large bins for our rubbish & it is a very tidy area. I notice that there is no advice for us on how to deter seagulls from an inner city area. We did not have this problem 3 or 4 years ago it is a recent change. We are not to blame. Please could you provide advice about this problem. We are all tearing our hear out!
    Thank you


    • fayehedden says:

      Hello Caroline, sorry to hear you’re having problems with seagulls. This post is about North Devon Council, which doesn’t cover the Exeter Area. You need to contact Exeter City Council, telephone 01392 277888.
      Kind regards

  3. Julia says:

    I would like to report that the seagulls at travelogue hotel by sainsbury in hereford.This noise is unbearable.Is impossible to sleep after night shift.I even spoke with my neighbors and they said the same.They attack my cat and neighbors cats.Please I beg for help.
    Regards Julia.

    • Mair says:

      Hello Julia, sorry to hear you’re having problems with seagulls. You need to contact Herefordshire Council, telephone 01432 260000 or complete their online form.
      Kind regards

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