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Flocking visitors reminded not to feed seagulls

AS VISITORS flock to Whitehaven, they’re being reminded not to feed the seagulls.

Copeland Council, in partnership with Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners, has erected 20 signs to urge residents and tourists not to feed the birds.

Andy Pratt, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Health, said: “During the summer holidays, as visitors arrive in the town, and residents are out and about, we’re asking people not to feed the seagulls.

“When people feed these birds, they become a nuisance. It causes them to become too familiar, and even aggressive, with humans and they can damage property.

“Food fit for humans, isn’t necessarily good for animals, and they should not be deterred from reliance on their natural food sources.”

Penalties could be issued against those who persistently cause a nuisance by feeding seagulls.

Copeland Council has a leaflet on the subject which can be found at www.copeland.gov.uk. It explains the laws on seagulls and describes measures that can be taken to deter them, including eliminating their food sources.

Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners has also installed seagull proof bins in support of the plea.

John Baker, Chief Executive, Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners, said: “As the town and harbour gets busier and busier, it is important that we all provide an excellent experience for all our communities and visitors.

“Part of that is for everyone to be able to come along and enjoy themselves whilst taking in the sights and sounds of our wonderful 400-year-old harbour.

“Seagulls are very much part of that sight and sound experience but the last thing we want to do is to encourage the seagulls to become a pest and then spoil the experience.

“To that end, we have joined up with Copeland Council to promote the important message that people should not be feeding the seagulls, as it can cause a number of consequences that can include harm to the birds themselves, as much as it can cause them to become aggressive and a real nuisance.”