Timeline: Dumfries seagull fight

image captionDumfries has made repeated attempts to tackle its problem with seagulls swooping on members of the public

Dumfries is one of many towns throughout the UK to have problems with seagulls swooping on members of the public.

It has seen a range of potential solutions suggested and implemented in recent years.

3 July 2006

An MSP suggested fines should be considered for people feeding gulls in Dumfries.

Dumfries MSP Elaine Murray wrote to the council to see what action might be taken, using current legislation, against anyone leaving litter on the streets, encouraging birds into the town centre.

Among her suggestions was a £50 fine for people deliberately feeding the birds.

An appeal was made to the environment minister to find a solution to seagull problems in Dumfries.

Provost Jack Groom claimed the birds had been attacking the public, making the town centre a dangerous place for both visitors and residents alike.

He said he had witnessed seagulls swooping down to steal sandwiches from people walking in the area.

Councillors hatched a new plan which they hoped would help rid Dumfries of its seagull problem.

It would mean that all new non-domestic buildings in the area would be subject to a planning condition that their roofs were made seagull-proof.

The move was unanimously agreed by members at a meeting of Nithsdale area regulatory committee.

A summit in Dumfries hoped to tackle the growing menace of seagulls in urban areas.

The birds were being blamed for scattering rubbish and attacking people during the breeding season.

The Scottish government unveiled a pilot project for destroying gull nests to tackle the "menace" of urban seagulls.

If successful, the project was to be considered for places like Aberdeen which also have major seagull problems.

However, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds said a change in human behaviour would address the problem better than destroying nests.

A three-year plan to tackle the problems posed by urban seagulls was drawn up.

A Dumfries and Galloway Council task force recommended a falcon be used to stop the birds nesting and action be taken to remove eggs from rooftops.

It was hoped the south west Scotland scheme could be used as a template for other areas to tackle their problems.

A falcon patrol took to the skies over Dumfries in a bid to rid it of an urban seagull problem.

The predatory birds were being used to disturb the gulls and stop them from nesting.

It was hoped this in turn would help to reduce the number of incidents in the town centre where seagulls swooped on members of the public.

A scheme using falcons to tackle urban seagull problems was dropped after the number of nesting pairs increased to 370 - an increase of 18.5% compared with the previous year.

A report to councillors said that due to the cost and outcome of the trial it was not recommended to continue.

Councillors rejected the possibility of a by-law banning the feeding of seagulls in Dumfries town centre.

Dumfries and Galloway Council turned down both a by-law and rules which could have been enforced by its staff.

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