Seagulls' toilet habits make trading estate workers' lives misery

BIRD POO: Malcolm Downs' car is covered on a daily basis

BIRD POO: Malcolm Downs' car is covered on a daily basis

First published in News Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter (Richmond)

TRADING estate workers have spoken of their misery after a large flock of seagulls moved in to start a dirty campaign of defecating all over cars and buildings.

The birds have been nesting in a warehouse in the Standard Way Industrial Estate in Northallerton for the last four months, and workers are fed up of their cars being pelted with poop on a daily basis.

Frustrating the matter further is a report from Hambleton District Council’s Environmental Health team that there is nothing that could be done.

Malcolm Downs, a development manager at Yorwaste Limited, said it is disgusting and he hopes something can be done about it.

He said: “The birds started to become a problem about four months ago, and it isn’t something we have had an issue with before in the last 15 we have been based here.

“Of course there were always birds flying around but they are everywhere and have been defecating excessively.

“The birds seem to be nesting in a nearby warehouse, and there is a device being used to scare them but it just seems to whip them up even more.”

Richard Moseley, technical manager from British Pest Control Association, said all birds are protected, and while pigeons can be destroyed because their droppings can spread disease, gulls cannot.

He said: “All birds are protected but in certain circumstances you have permission from government to deal with pest species – but they have to be creating a serious problem.

“Natural England gives you a list of certain circumstances when you can carry out certain action to get rid of birds, but there are a number of gull species and very few fall into the category where it will be acceptable to kill them.

“That means in most cases you must use other control methods, such as using nets, spikes or something to scare them.”

He added: "However many of these methods do not work in the long term so often you just need to wait for nesting season to end and for them to move on."

A spokeswoman for Hambleton District Council’s Environmental Health department said there was nothing that could be done.

She said: “Seagulls are not under our remit as an Environmental Health issue, unlike pigeons, which can carry disease.”

Mr Downs added: “There are no piles of rubbish, and there doesn’t seem to be an obvious source of food and water for them so I don’t know why they were attracted to the area.

“I just hope they are not here to stay.”

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