North West Wales

Conwy seagull committee plan to tackle seaside scourge

Seagull Image copyright Mari Buckley / Geograph
Image caption Many blame littering for the increase in seagulls being spotted in Wales

A dedicated seagull committee could be created to handle the scourge of swooping birds in Conwy.

The council is considering ways to counter "nuisance and safety issues", mostly at Llandudno and Conwy quay.

One idea is a previously mooted byelaw to make feeding gulls in urban areas an offence.

Officers have recommended a task group looks at other options and "religious matters" arising from any restrictions.

In a report to Conwy's communities scrutiny committee, officers said herring gulls remain a problem in some urban areas, despite a decline in numbers.

'Intimidating'

"The gulls will pester people walking and eating open food, having picnics, as well as flying to any area where there is a food source, including to where food is accidentally dropped/discarded, or where members of the public deliberately feed birds," it said.

"The gulls will take food indiscriminately, including that not necessarily intended for them."

The birds can also be "large" and "intimidating to some people" and have been known to cause minor injuries, the report said.

Image copyright Duncan Leatherdale
Image caption There are 140,000 breeding herring gull pairs in the UK according to the RSPB

However, officers recognised gulls were a "traditional part of the seaside environment" and many people regard them as an "integral part of living or holidaying by the sea".

The report said any byelaw alone would be "expensive and ineffective" but a "preventative educative approach to feeding gulls and the control of food waste would, however, be appropriate".

Conwy council told the Daily Post in July 2015 it was previously put off of the idea of introducing fines after being told people had the right to feed birds in some religions.

The report will be considered at a meeting on Thursday.

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