Devon

Seagull attacks in Devon disrupt mail deliveries

  • 23 June 2010
  • From the section Devon
Ducking postman
Image caption Postmen have had to duck to avoid the gulls

Post deliveries have been disrupted in a Devon seaside town after attacks by seagulls.

About 20 seagulls have been swooping on people, including postal workers, in Berry Drive, Paignton.

Now the Royal Mail has warned residents it will not be able to deliver post if its workers feel threatened.

The seagulls have been causing problems for the past two weeks as they defend their chicks which have dropped to the ground from nests on the roofs.

The Royal Mail said it was "committed" to delivering to people's addresses, "but occasionally might not be able to due to the attacks".

A spokesperson said: "There have been recent incidents where our staff have been attacked by up to 20 seagulls making it difficult to access all addresses in the street.

"We continue to make every effort to get mail to customers."

It said if a delivery was not possible, it would attempt to deliver at the "next possible opportunity".

Mother-of-two Vicki Sheehy, who lives in Berry Drive, said just going outside her house was dangerous.

"It's like in the film, The Birds," she said.

"You have to pick your moments, to make sure the coast is clear.

"We use a golfing umbrella as protection because they can be quite vicious."

Nesting seagulls have caused problems in past years.

"I feel most sorry for the children round here because they can't go out and play," said Mrs Sheehy, 48.

"You see them running back into the houses because the seagulls will not let up.

"Last night we did not get to sleep until four o'clock because of the noise. The slightest movement outside sets them off."

Problem seagulls can be culled, said the RSPB, but only with a licence from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

RSPB spokesman Tony Whitehead said: "We commiserate with people, but the problem will not last.

"Once the chicks have fledged they will go away."

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