Wales

Cardiff home to over 6,000 seagulls, says report

Seagull numbers in Cardiff have more than doubled since 2006, causing problems for residents and businesses, says a draft report for the council.

Gull expert Peter Rock examined the Severn Estuary, also covering Swansea, Gloucester, Bristol and Swindon.

Cardiff had the largest population, with more than 6,000 seagulls.

James Byrne of RSPB Cymru said: "There's a lot of food and nesting places for them in Cardiff, and that creates a pull factor."

"There's also a push factor in that in the rest of the UK seagulls are declining massively."

Clive Bryant from Cardiff council's pest control department said the increase had brought problems for businesses and households alike.

He said it was a tricky problem that the council only had limited resources to address.

"Some buildings, even commercial ones, have no access to the roof which gives these birds a free reign up there," he said.

"They can get really aggressive in the summer when they're laying their eggs."

The study looked at 38 different seagull colonies across the Severn Estuary region of south Wales and the west of England.

The RSPB, the report's author and Cardiff council all say they welcomed any further research into why the bird population is increasing.

Seagulls have also been identified as a problem in other areas of Wales.

In Rhyl, The White Rose shopping centre installed wires above its car park to deter more than 1,000 seagulls earlier this year.

Its owners claimed it was losing customers and called in pest control experts to tackle the problem of droppings created by the roosting gulls.

Last year, Aberystwyth University installed speakers mimicking the sound of distressed seagulls to prevent hungry gulls from bothering diners near a cafe.

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