Gwynedd Council have launched a campaign to educate and advise people and businesses on the measures that can be taken to prevent seagulls from becoming a nuisance.

Like them or loathe them, there’s no getting away from them, especially in coastal areas like Gwynedd. Seagulls can be a nuisance by scavenging from bin bags and they can be intimidating to humans, especially during their nesting season.

Whilst the number of gulls that live and nest in the UK is in fact declining, an increasing number of people see them as a nuisance. This is why the Council is running a campaign to ensure that members of the public and businesses who serve food don’t attract the birds needlessly to the county’s towns.

Councillor Dafydd Meurig, Deputy Leader of Gwynedd Council and Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “In a county like Gwynedd where so many of our towns and villages are near the coast, gulls can be a real nuisance. This is why we are keen to work with other parties to consider what steps we can take to prevent the birds from being a nuisance.

“For example, businesses through Caernarfon’s HWB along with Caernarfon Town Council have taken steps to tackle the issue. Recently, they have commissioned a company that uses birds of prey to keep gulls away from the town centre.

“I’m pleased that we’re raising awareness about the simple measures that everybody can take to help keep the gulls away. The advice is simple – if you’re eating outside, make sure you place your leftovers and your food waste securely in a bin.”

Katherine Owen from Caernarfon Town Council added: “We were very pleased to work in partnership to employ a company to prevent the seagulls from laying their eggs in the town this year. Local businesses have noticed a difference immediately.”

As part of the campaign Gwynedd Council have produced leaflets and posters that are being distributed in coastal areas in order to convey the message to local residents and visitors to the area.

All species of gulls are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 which covers England and Wales. It says that “if any person intentionally kills, injures or takes any wild bird, he shall be guilty of an offence”. If convicted of cruelty against a seagull, an offender could be fined up to £5,000 and potentially jailed for up to six months.

Council Advice

  • Don’t drop rubbish or food scraps on the floor – it’s an offence and it also attracts seagulls.
  • Use bins with lids or take the food waste home and place in the food bin.
  • Don’t feed the gulls, and avoid giving them an opportunity to snatch food – be vigilant and keep food close to you.
  • Keep away from the nests of young gulls.
  • Encourage any businesses that serve food to ensure that any food waste is cleared as soon as possible to prevent attracting gulls.
  • Don’t encourage large birds into the garden.
  • Gulls know that they can get food from bins, so it’s important that scraps are placed securely in a bin; that the lid of the brown food bin is closed properly and that bins are put out on the correct collection day.
  • If gulls are likely to damage your usual bin bags, stronger bags which birds cannot destroy are available so that you can place your regular bin bags in them. Contact Gwynedd Council to order a re-usable sack.

For further information on how to keep gulls away from homes and businesses, contact Gwynedd Council’s Public Protection Service on email: llygredd@gwynedd.llyw.cymru or phone the team on 01766 771 000.