Fines warning over feeding seagulls in Dorset resorts

Image caption,
Seagulls can develop habits of looking for food from unnatural sources

The deliberate feeding of "menace" seagulls is to be banned in two seaside resorts on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset.

People caught feeding the birds in parts of Lyme Regis and West Bay will face a fine of up to £100 from 23 April, West Dorset council said.

The prohibited areas include both promenades, Lyme Regis Cobb and West Bay's pier.

The new Public Spaces Protection Order will stay in place for three years.

Image source, West Dorset District Council
Image caption,
In 2016, the council encouraged seafront takeaway owners to use warning stickers on their packaging

West Dorset District Council said the new ban reflects more than 500 comments it received from residents.

In 2016, the council launched a campaign encouraging seafront takeaway owners to use warning stickers emblazoned with an image of a seagull and the slogan "Public health menace - do not feed".

A council spokesperson said: "The notoriously greedy birds are well known amongst holidaymakers and residents alike for their sometimes aggressive behaviour in pursuit of food."

The new Public Spaces Protection Order also bans the consumption of alcohol in public in the town centre areas of Dorchester, Bridport and West Bay.

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