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Talks to solve urban gull menace in Elgin will go ahead this month

Gulls are a menace in Moray
Gulls are running riot in Elgin and across Moray.

Talks on how to deal with urban gulls in Elgin will take place this month.

Elgin Community Council has been trying since the beginning of the year to get a representative from environmental protection agency NatureScot to meet them to discuss issues faced by residents.

Area manager for south Highland with NatureScot, Chris Donald, will meet officers from Moray Council, the community council and the six Elgin councillors to find a way forward.

The meeting will be held in Elgin Town Hall on Monday June 20 from 1.30pm.

Gulls have become an increasing problem in the town over recent years causing mess, stealing food and attacking people.

Chairman of the community council Alastair Kennedy said: “I’m delighted this is coming together.

Chairman of Elgin Community Council Alastair Kennedy.

“Sadly it’s too late to do anything this year.

“There is some work going on, but we have to be looking at this in the long term

“We’ve got more gulls in Elgin then we’ve ever had, and I think we have to look at it from a different perspective.”

He hopes a management plan can be put in place to rid the town of its gull problems, and that a public meeting will be held at some point.

It is illegal to destroy eggs, chicks or nests without a licence, and in recent years the local authority has used one to have them removed from buildings.

Tightening up of the licensing rules by NatureScot means it is individual property owners or occupiers who need to apply for a licence, as opposed to one covering a designated area.

Gulls at Doocot Park in Elgin.

Home owners are also encouraged to install prevention measures to deter gulls before more direct action is taken.

Moray Council has pledged to spend £44,000 on gull proof bins, and a further £2,000 on an education programme aimed at telling people not to feed them.

In March NatureScot apologised to the community council for not replying to their emails and phone calls.

The agency then said it did not have “capacity” within their team to attend a meeting.

 

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