The plight facing north-east and Moray residents tormented by gulls has been highlighted at the Scottish Parliament.
Coastal towns across the north-east are constantly bothered by gulls – from the noise they make, the mess they leave and the food they steal.
Karen Adam, MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast, who has been publicly campaigning on the “significant issue”, asked the Scottish Government what action is being taken to address the problem.
She says it is “just the beginning in seeking tangible action” to tackle the problem which has plagued her constituents.
Mairi McAllan, Minister for Environment, Biodiversity and Land Reform, told MSPs the Scottish Government “supports gull management in Moray and north-east Scotland through Nature Scot and others whose role it is to provide advice regarding gull management”.
She added: “Moray Council I understand has extended its voluntary mess removal pilot and similar schemes are available to local authorities across Scotland.”
Ms Adam hosted a public meeting online last month with 45 attendees which aimed to bring people together to tackle the ongoing issue.
The SNP MSP said that during the meeting it had been brought to her attention that the most relevant Scottish Government research on the biodiversity of urban gulls is from 2006.
Ms McAllan replied: “A current UK seabird census, which was organised by the joint nature conservation committee, includes the estimated populations of species that breed in urban environments and the findings of this research will help me and officials inform future policy in dealing with urban gull populations.”
‘Just the beginning’
Speaking after raising the issue in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday, Ms Adam said: “I’ve taken further action today and written to both Moray and Aberdeenshire councils about potentially streamlining the licensing process for pest control in regard to dealing with urban gulls.
“This is just the beginning in seeking tangible action, and I will do everything I can to help make that happen.
“It will be an incredibly tough challenge to get this under control but someone needs to try.”