'Birds of mass destruction' return to Gloucester
The chorus of seagull song is once again filling the air in Gloucester – and steps are being taken to keep numbers down.
It is believed the tip at Hempsted alone attracts 60,000 seagulls, once labelled "birds of mass destruction" by Gloucester's MP Richard Graham during a commons debate.
It is also believed there are around 3,000 pairs of the birds living in the city and many people are calling for measures to be introduced to control their numbers.
Nick King, of Nick King Car Sales Ltd, in Bristol Road, noticed the birds have made an early appearance this year.
He said: "We noticed they had come back about three weeks ago, maybe it's because of the warmer weather perhaps.
"They cause a real nightmare for us though. We have to get someone out twice a week to clean the cars of their droppings - which obviously costs us money."
He added: "Something needs to be done to control the numbers. Getting rid of the tip would be a start!
"But I don't know what can be done really. I know they oil eggs and put up netting and stuff but it's a difficult one. We are based right next to a really large building and they nest up there."
Councillor Paul Toleman (Con, Westgate) has urged people to do their bit.
He said: "There are always more around this time of year, so you will see a bit of an increase and they will be a bit more noticeable.
"But I don't think there are as many as there used to be. The council introduced measures last year and I think they have worked.
"People must pick up their litter. The more litter there is, the more seagulls there will be."
Meanwhile Gloucester City Council said measures are in place ahead of the breading season, in May, to keep numbers down.
A city council spokesman said: "Gloucester City Council will continue to do all we can to reduce the numbers of birds in the city and when the nesting season begins in May, we will once again work with local businesses to oil the gull eggs in nests on their roofs to prevent the eggs from hatching.
"To reduce the amount of food available to the birds, the landfill site operators at Hempsted are continuing to stop birds from feeding off the waste. We also encourage the public not to feed these birds and to make sure they put their food waste into litter bins."
Source: This is Gloucesterchire