Seagulls choose Hereford over the Med – but numbers are reducing according to Herefordshire Council

Hereford Times: Seagulls are choosing Hereford over sunnier climes in Southern Europe. But numbers are reducing according to Herefordshire Council. Seagulls are choosing Hereford over sunnier climes in Southern Europe. But numbers are reducing according to Herefordshire Council.

SEAGULLS are choosing Hereford over the Mediterranean – but numbers are reducing according to Herefordshire Council.

While traditionally many of Hereford's "urban gulls" migrate to Southern Europe in the winter months, Herefordshire Council says this trend is changing.

An increasing number of gulls are now instead choosing to “take their chances” by overwintering in the city.

Over the past six years, a specialist contractor has been appointed to carry out nest and egg clearance during the April to August nesting season in Hereford to control numbers.

Now, residents are being urged to support the council's ongoing campaign to tackle this urban seagull population by making sure food waste is left out of the birds' reach.

Marc Willimont, head of environmental health and development management, said: “The programme of gull control is going successfully, with the Hereford population gradually decreasing. We would especially like to thank Hereford City Council, which has again agreed to fund this programme to keep it free to both the public and business”.

“It would help us if both businesses and the public could report where gulls are nesting so that we can direct our contractors to relevant locations. This year we are also making a particular effort to engage with our city centre shops and offices, hoping to get access to shop roofs for the first time.”

Herefordshire Council says live birds and chicks are never harmed as part of the gull control work and RSPB guidance is always adhered to.

When Hereford’s control programme first started, it was independently estimated that the city gull population was as high as 500 breeding pairs.

Six years later, the colonies seem to have reduced to between 300 and 400 breeding pairs.

Herefordshire Council estimates that if the control programme had not been put in place from 2008, the increase per year would have given Hereford a possible population of between about 700 to 1,500 pairs.

That number would be in line with the growth rates experienced by some other councils – especially those who have chosen not to act or who have deployed alternative and perhaps less successful solutions.

At the end of the year, the council will hold its annual stakeholder forum when population data is reviewed and decisions are made about future control methods.

Comments (21)

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9:02am Thu 10 Apr 14

mizza21 says...

Maybe we could use them like the residents of St Kilda did back in the day.
I can just see the residents of Hereford scaling the salty buildings of the OLM in a bid to harvest them.
That would scare em off.
Maybe we could use them like the residents of St Kilda did back in the day. I can just see the residents of Hereford scaling the salty buildings of the OLM in a bid to harvest them. That would scare em off. mizza21
  • Score: 0

10:24am Thu 10 Apr 14

silentbull2 says...

This might sound a bit 'nasty'...

...reduce the amount of 'take-aways/fast food shops around Hereford,
No matter how many bins there is, a number of them are left over filled or unused?(there's a bin right next to the bike lane between right next to Holmer road that so much over grown nobody knows it's there?) which gives some people an excuse to just throw there rubbish on the floor.
Seagulls are scavengers they will go to the easiest places to get food, which at the moment is outside the B&Q and across the road on the skate park (do they throw there rubbish on the floor at home??).
'Yes' let's have more bins but make sure you empty them regularly or else you're just giving some people and ideal excuse for throwing rubbish/ half eaten food on the floor with in turn is feeding' vermin'
This might sound a bit 'nasty'... ...reduce the amount of 'take-aways/fast food shops around Hereford, No matter how many bins there is, a number of them are left over filled or unused?(there's a bin right next to the bike lane between right next to Holmer road that so much over grown nobody knows it's there?) which gives some people an excuse to just throw there rubbish on the floor. Seagulls are scavengers they will go to the easiest places to get food, which at the moment is outside the B&Q and across the road on the skate park (do they throw there rubbish on the floor at home??). 'Yes' let's have more bins but make sure you empty them regularly or else you're just giving some people and ideal excuse for throwing rubbish/ half eaten food on the floor with in turn is feeding' vermin' silentbull2
  • Score: 1

11:40am Thu 10 Apr 14

mizza21 says...

Let's eat the seagulls silentbull and when we've eaten all the seagulls lets eat the rats and then the mice and then the cockroaches.
Deep fry em like they do in Thailand or Vietnam or wherever.

This will save us from infestation and solve the food crisis in one fell swoop.
Let's eat the seagulls silentbull and when we've eaten all the seagulls lets eat the rats and then the mice and then the cockroaches. Deep fry em like they do in Thailand or Vietnam or wherever. This will save us from infestation and solve the food crisis in one fell swoop. mizza21
  • Score: -3

1:20pm Thu 10 Apr 14

silentbull2 says...

mizza21 wrote:
Let's eat the seagulls silentbull and when we've eaten all the seagulls lets eat the rats and then the mice and then the cockroaches.
Deep fry em like they do in Thailand or Vietnam or wherever.

This will save us from infestation and solve the food crisis in one fell swoop.
In some of the restaurants I've been in around Hereford I'm guessing that's already going on :-/
[quote][p][bold]mizza21[/bold] wrote: Let's eat the seagulls silentbull and when we've eaten all the seagulls lets eat the rats and then the mice and then the cockroaches. Deep fry em like they do in Thailand or Vietnam or wherever. This will save us from infestation and solve the food crisis in one fell swoop.[/p][/quote]In some of the restaurants I've been in around Hereford I'm guessing that's already going on :-/ silentbull2
  • Score: 0

6:56pm Thu 10 Apr 14

xantiaman says...

They are not Seagulls, they are Urban Gulls !
They are not Seagulls, they are Urban Gulls ! xantiaman
  • Score: 0

6:59pm Thu 10 Apr 14

xantiaman says...

The Gulls you speak of, are in fact Urban Gulls,not Seagulls.
The Gulls you speak of, are in fact Urban Gulls,not Seagulls. xantiaman
  • Score: -2

8:23pm Thu 10 Apr 14

silentbull2 says...

Urban Foxes
Urban Gulls
What next? Urban squirrels? ?
Urban Foxes Urban Gulls What next? Urban squirrels? ? silentbull2
  • Score: 3

8:31pm Thu 10 Apr 14

bobby47 says...

It's truly wonderful how the Council dress things up. The specialist for example! You might mutter, 'good grief. A man or a woman highly skilled in this area of business. You can't get better than that'. Or, you can read between the lines and conclude there's some fool out there who scurries up a drainpipe, tippy toes across some roof top, selects a hammer for the shell and its estimated thickness, and then belts the egg has hard as he or she can.
It's all rubbish and its all dressed up to make us all think, 'goodness, thank God they're looking after us.
And as for the numbers decreasing. That may well be right. More than likely its completely wrong but it doesn't really matter. Now its been said, within the council bubble of factoids, it must consequently be true. Afterall, if they've said it then it must be true.
I promise you one thing Mr Willimont and his staff ain't sitting there counting gulls. They ain't even sitting there pondering over some clever equation that concludes all is well and whatever they've been doing has been a wonderful course to take. They don't know. They've no idea and neither have you and I.
Quite simply, its another example of Council Maths. Taking some obscure issue, producing some pointless factoid, creating a graph that shows a line going downwards which then compels the reader and viewer to shout, 'hallelujah. Lord be praised. It's a miracle. Be gone Gulls'.
In truth, its all a bucket of pigswill dressed up to please a gathering of clever primates who'll clap whenever they're told to. They pitch this rubbish at us and were supposed to cry, 'lovely. More good news'.
Sometimes, simply say nothing. Instead of phoning the Hereford Times and saying, 'me and my team have achieved something wonderful and remarkablely advantageous to Herefords society, just say buggar all. And, from hereon, don't describe some fool with a hammer as 'the specialist contractor'. He or she owns a hammer and ain't afraid of heights. And that's it. Full bloody stop!
It's truly wonderful how the Council dress things up. The specialist for example! You might mutter, 'good grief. A man or a woman highly skilled in this area of business. You can't get better than that'. Or, you can read between the lines and conclude there's some fool out there who scurries up a drainpipe, tippy toes across some roof top, selects a hammer for the shell and its estimated thickness, and then belts the egg has hard as he or she can. It's all rubbish and its all dressed up to make us all think, 'goodness, thank God they're looking after us. And as for the numbers decreasing. That may well be right. More than likely its completely wrong but it doesn't really matter. Now its been said, within the council bubble of factoids, it must consequently be true. Afterall, if they've said it then it must be true. I promise you one thing Mr Willimont and his staff ain't sitting there counting gulls. They ain't even sitting there pondering over some clever equation that concludes all is well and whatever they've been doing has been a wonderful course to take. They don't know. They've no idea and neither have you and I. Quite simply, its another example of Council Maths. Taking some obscure issue, producing some pointless factoid, creating a graph that shows a line going downwards which then compels the reader and viewer to shout, 'hallelujah. Lord be praised. It's a miracle. Be gone Gulls'. In truth, its all a bucket of pigswill dressed up to please a gathering of clever primates who'll clap whenever they're told to. They pitch this rubbish at us and were supposed to cry, 'lovely. More good news'. Sometimes, simply say nothing. Instead of phoning the Hereford Times and saying, 'me and my team have achieved something wonderful and remarkablely advantageous to Herefords society, just say buggar all. And, from hereon, don't describe some fool with a hammer as 'the specialist contractor'. He or she owns a hammer and ain't afraid of heights. And that's it. Full bloody stop! bobby47
  • Score: 4

9:35am Fri 11 Apr 14

mizza21 says...

This is surely good news. The hard working council have gone to great lengths to employ a specialist contractor to rid us of this problem.
One thing I would question though is the waste of eggs.

These eggs could have been used in a Souffle or an Omlet or perhaps a nice choux pastry selection.

This specialist contractor though must be making a few quid. Seagulls, or town gulls as they are now get bloomin everywhere. I was in Brighton, or was it Porthcawl, only the other week and the place was brimming over with them.
This is surely good news. The hard working council have gone to great lengths to employ a specialist contractor to rid us of this problem. One thing I would question though is the waste of eggs. These eggs could have been used in a Souffle or an Omlet or perhaps a nice choux pastry selection. This specialist contractor though must be making a few quid. Seagulls, or town gulls as they are now get bloomin everywhere. I was in Brighton, or was it Porthcawl, only the other week and the place was brimming over with them. mizza21
  • Score: 0

12:41pm Fri 11 Apr 14

littlewhitebull says...

These gulls have been around since the 1960s. We often used to scatter the blighters from the football pitches on King George playing fields. One even scored a direct hit on a goalkeeper during the kick about - it was the only thing he caught all afternoon; sorry, Al.
These gulls have been around since the 1960s. We often used to scatter the blighters from the football pitches on King George playing fields. One even scored a direct hit on a goalkeeper during the kick about - it was the only thing he caught all afternoon; sorry, Al. littlewhitebull
  • Score: 1

4:11pm Fri 11 Apr 14

mizza21 says...

haha littlewhitbull
lets hope the mighty Whites can beat the Gateshead tomorrow. I shall be there with my bin lids yelling like a madman. I'll be easy to spot. I'll be the one shouting at the seagulls.
haha littlewhitbull lets hope the mighty Whites can beat the Gateshead tomorrow. I shall be there with my bin lids yelling like a madman. I'll be easy to spot. I'll be the one shouting at the seagulls. mizza21
  • Score: 1

4:42pm Fri 11 Apr 14

William Rudd says...

xantiaman wrote:
The Gulls you speak of, are in fact Urban Gulls,not Seagulls.
They live eight months of the year on the coast...by the sea,they come here to breed because food to feed the young is readily available.
[quote][p][bold]xantiaman[/bold] wrote: The Gulls you speak of, are in fact Urban Gulls,not Seagulls.[/p][/quote]They live eight months of the year on the coast...by the sea,they come here to breed because food to feed the young is readily available. William Rudd
  • Score: 1

6:20pm Fri 11 Apr 14

littlewhitebull says...

mizza21 wrote:
haha littlewhitbull
lets hope the mighty Whites can beat the Gateshead tomorrow. I shall be there with my bin lids yelling like a madman. I'll be easy to spot. I'll be the one shouting at the seagulls.
Let's hope! We need the three points so badly now. How are your young ladies coping with their Dad's strange mood swings?
Keep the faith!
[quote][p][bold]mizza21[/bold] wrote: haha littlewhitbull lets hope the mighty Whites can beat the Gateshead tomorrow. I shall be there with my bin lids yelling like a madman. I'll be easy to spot. I'll be the one shouting at the seagulls.[/p][/quote]Let's hope! We need the three points so badly now. How are your young ladies coping with their Dad's strange mood swings? Keep the faith! littlewhitebull
  • Score: 1

7:00pm Sat 12 Apr 14

Dave The Dumbest says...

Bobby47, yet another chapter and verse of utter ' pig swill' I personally know the guys who deal with the eggs and nests and have seen them on a daily basis going about their work. You have NO idea what you are talking/writing about AGAIN...Good day sir
Bobby47, yet another chapter and verse of utter ' pig swill' I personally know the guys who deal with the eggs and nests and have seen them on a daily basis going about their work. You have NO idea what you are talking/writing about AGAIN...Good day sir Dave The Dumbest
  • Score: 2

10:25pm Sat 12 Apr 14

bobby47 says...

Dave, you may be onto something. I know nothing. Nothing at all and what I do know isn't worth a jot of notice.
Good for you kiddo. It's about time I was called to account for all this pointless codswallop that I shovel out.
Mind, there ain't no 'specialist'. Know one Ive encountered ever admitted to me that his soul purpose in life was to specialize in busting gull eggs. It ain't a career and as far as Im concerned if he ever walks up to me in the pub and starts warbling on about the high points of his career in busting eggs, Im going to tell him to clear off. Be gone. Go bore someone else. I ain't impressed.
Dave, you may be onto something. I know nothing. Nothing at all and what I do know isn't worth a jot of notice. Good for you kiddo. It's about time I was called to account for all this pointless codswallop that I shovel out. Mind, there ain't no 'specialist'. Know one Ive encountered ever admitted to me that his soul purpose in life was to specialize in busting gull eggs. It ain't a career and as far as Im concerned if he ever walks up to me in the pub and starts warbling on about the high points of his career in busting eggs, Im going to tell him to clear off. Be gone. Go bore someone else. I ain't impressed. bobby47
  • Score: 1

3:07pm Mon 14 Apr 14

wyesider says...

The following is from the RSPB website:

"Seagulls are extremely adaptable, quick thinking and bold," says Grahame Madge, a spokesman for the RSPB. "From a gull's perspective cities provide myriad opportunities.
"As traditional food sources are declining they have learned to forage in landfill sites further inland and on urban streets. They are taking advantage of our wastefulness.
"Seagulls are breaking their connection with the sea. They have previously nested in towns and cities that are on a corridor to the sea, but now we are seeing them in inland counties that are far from the coast."
Rural and urban gulls are now two distinct populations and don't often mix, says urban gull expert Peter Rock. Rural gulls will rarely start nesting in urban areas and vice versa. Most remain in the environment they were born in, although a small number do return to the coast to breed.
"There is a raft of differences between the two groups," he says. "Most significantly, rural gulls are in massive decline while the number of urban gulls is rapidly increasing and expected to continue going up."
According to bird experts, there is technically no such thing as a seagull. There are, in fact, several different species of gull, mainly herring gulls and black-backed gulls in the UK.
The following is from the RSPB website: "Seagulls are extremely adaptable, quick thinking and bold," says Grahame Madge, a spokesman for the RSPB. "From a gull's perspective cities provide myriad opportunities. "As traditional food sources are declining they have learned to forage in landfill sites further inland and on urban streets. They are taking advantage of our wastefulness. "Seagulls are breaking their connection with the sea. They have previously nested in towns and cities that are on a corridor to the sea, but now we are seeing them in inland counties that are far from the coast." Rural and urban gulls are now two distinct populations and don't often mix, says urban gull expert Peter Rock. Rural gulls will rarely start nesting in urban areas and vice versa. Most remain in the environment they were born in, although a small number do return to the coast to breed. "There is a raft of differences between the two groups," he says. "Most significantly, rural gulls are in massive decline while the number of urban gulls is rapidly increasing and expected to continue going up." According to bird experts, there is technically no such thing as a seagull. There are, in fact, several different species of gull, mainly herring gulls and black-backed gulls in the UK. wyesider
  • Score: 0

9:32pm Tue 15 Apr 14

jkay79 says...

Without wanting to sound too anti -council this is just typical PR nonsense. They have been engaging with local businesses for years to no avail, and the reduction in Gull population probably has little to do with the appx £8,000 pounds a year spent by the council on the problem. As much as I don't agree with spending tax money on such things its a relatively insignificant amount of money in tackling the issue.
The council I would suggest is unaware (as most comments on here appear to be) that there is no such thing as a Seagull, Urban Gull or Rural Gull. There are just species of Gull - 5 of which live in Hereford at different times, we have Yellow legged Gulls, Little Gulls, Black Backed Gulls, Black headed Gulls and Herring Gulls - ALL of which appear on the endangered species list. Permission by natural England is given to deal with only one of these species - the Herring Gull. Treating all Gulls as the same leads to misunderstanding and laziness - labeling them a pests lets the council conveniently forget that the problem is caused by not cleaning the streets or enforcing adequate rubbish collections.
Treat the cause and not the effect is always the better thing to do - remove the food and they will live in a dirtier town.
This solution does not of course give a nice PR release to make us feel that the Council are doing something.
Without wanting to sound too anti -council this is just typical PR nonsense. They have been engaging with local businesses for years to no avail, and the reduction in Gull population probably has little to do with the appx £8,000 pounds a year spent by the council on the problem. As much as I don't agree with spending tax money on such things its a relatively insignificant amount of money in tackling the issue. The council I would suggest is unaware (as most comments on here appear to be) that there is no such thing as a Seagull, Urban Gull or Rural Gull. There are just species of Gull - 5 of which live in Hereford at different times, we have Yellow legged Gulls, Little Gulls, Black Backed Gulls, Black headed Gulls and Herring Gulls - ALL of which appear on the endangered species list. Permission by natural England is given to deal with only one of these species - the Herring Gull. Treating all Gulls as the same leads to misunderstanding and laziness - labeling them a pests lets the council conveniently forget that the problem is caused by not cleaning the streets or enforcing adequate rubbish collections. Treat the cause and not the effect is always the better thing to do - remove the food and they will live in a dirtier town. This solution does not of course give a nice PR release to make us feel that the Council are doing something. jkay79
  • Score: 0

8:14am Wed 16 Apr 14

Eignstein says...

I think HT are right to propose a 140 character limit for posts.
I think HT are right to propose a 140 character limit for posts. Eignstein
  • Score: 1

9:04am Wed 16 Apr 14

mizza21 says...

Eignstein. (Great name) how on earth are we supposed to rant and ramble on in just 140 characters? I for one need at least a few hundred and if bobby47 had to post in less than 1000 he would be bu
Eignstein. (Great name) how on earth are we supposed to rant and ramble on in just 140 characters? I for one need at least a few hundred and if bobby47 had to post in less than 1000 he would be bu mizza21
  • Score: 0

12:45pm Wed 16 Apr 14

littlewhitebull says...

mizza21 wrote:
Eignstein. (Great name) how on earth are we supposed to rant and ramble on in just 140 characters? I for one need at least a few hundred and if bobby47 had to post in less than 1000 he would be bu
Mizza, why would Bobby be bu......ttered up? bu....tchered up? bu.....rgled? bu...llwhipped?
Ah, perhaps you meant bu...ttressed in one of his Gran's dresses?
Please let me see a goal at Edgar Street - for the Bulls, of course! I'm suffering from goal deprivation. Not like the Baggies!
[quote][p][bold]mizza21[/bold] wrote: Eignstein. (Great name) how on earth are we supposed to rant and ramble on in just 140 characters? I for one need at least a few hundred and if bobby47 had to post in less than 1000 he would be bu[/p][/quote]Mizza, why would Bobby be bu......ttered up? bu....tchered up? bu.....rgled? bu...llwhipped? Ah, perhaps you meant bu...ttressed in one of his Gran's dresses? Please let me see a goal at Edgar Street - for the Bulls, of course! I'm suffering from goal deprivation. Not like the Baggies! littlewhitebull
  • Score: 0

2:17pm Wed 16 Apr 14

mizza21 says...

I could not possibly say what bobby would be on a polite forum such as this Littlewhitebull.
i can't afford to watch the baggies these days either. I too am relying on my local team for my dose of footytainment.
Thank god it's a World cup year.
I could not possibly say what bobby would be on a polite forum such as this Littlewhitebull. i can't afford to watch the baggies these days either. I too am relying on my local team for my dose of footytainment. Thank god it's a World cup year. mizza21
  • Score: 0

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