Twin approach to tackling borough's gull guano

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

 

A new prevention and management approach to tackling the problem of guano from nesting gulls in the borough of Scarborough was launched today.

Every year in spring and early summer, Kittiwakes and Herring Gulls nest on the rooftops and window ledges of many town centre and seafront buildings. Guano from the gulls is constant and leaves an unpleasant trail down the side of buildings and on surrounding pavements.

To help prevent gulls nesting in the first place, we have opened a grant funding scheme to assist private building owners and tenants with the cost of purchasing and installing gull proofing material.

As the gull breeding season comes to an end and autumn is on the horizon, it is the perfect time to start planning the installation of gull proofing measures ahead of 2021.

We will contribute 50%, up to a maximum of £2,000, towards the costs of gull proofing any private buildings in defined areas of Filey, Scarborough and Whitby. The work must be carried out by our approved contractor. This is to ensure the work is consistent and of the required high standard to ensure gulls do not become trapped in the proofing material.

Maps of the eligible areas and an application form for match funding are available to download at scarborough.gov.uk/seagulls or by emailing margaret.elwick@scarborough.gov.uk

Anyone without internet access should call 01723 232322. We are currently unable to accept walk in enquiries about the scheme as we continue to prioritise only the most vulnerable customers during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Cllr Michelle Donohue Moncrieff, Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainability said:

"Gulls are part of life in our borough and love them or loathe them, we’ve got to try to find better ways of managing how we live with them.

"We accept that we need to do more to keep the pavements cleaner and in return, we need those responsible for private buildings in the borough’s worst affected areas to be part of the collective effort to tackle the problem by installing material to prevent nesting. Our match funding scheme is designed to help people do just that in a more affordable way.

"I encourage people to submit their applications as soon as possible so that we can assess them in time for arranging installation in the autumn and winter months."

Even allowing for a successful take up of the scheme, we know that nesting cannot be eradicated completely and that an enhanced level of street cleaning will have to be undertaken too.

Cllr Tony Randerson, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said:

"I have always been passionate about looking at solutions that would allow us to improve how we clean gull guano from the borough’s worst affected areas. I am delighted that we have taken delivery of a new high pressure hot water cleaning machine and our dedicated officers will waste no time in putting it to work to make our pavements cleaner and more pleasant places to be.

"Looking ahead to next year, it is true that gulls will ‘go to the toilet’ more frequently than any machine or team of people can be deployed to an area. However, we are committed to keeping on top of the problem and will deploy the machine as often as we can throughout the nesting season as well as all year round for enhanced cleaning."