November 27 2014 Latest news:
Friday, May 9, 2014
A Sidmouth woman has received an £80 fine for putting food out for birds in the town.
Rose Rodell was issued with the fixed penalty notice by East Devon District Council (EDDC) for littering following ‘many calls from several quarters’ for the authority to take action.
In an interview broadcast on television and radio this week, Mrs Rodell defended her actions, saying that she had been advised about birds - but never told not to feed them.
Sidmouth is one of three East Devon towns that have employed a falconer to stop seagulls nesting in built-up areas, and EDDC says the efforts are undermined if people encourage the birds in to the town by feeding them.
A council spokesman said: “Mrs Rodell is well aware of the issues faced by all of those who are trying to discourage gulls from nesting in the town centre and attacking residents and tourists eating outdoors.
“She even attended a Seagull Summit organised by the council last year, where she would have heard about the need to avoid feeding the birds, which makes them dependent on “take-away” food rather than living in their natural environment.”
The maximum penalty that can be imposed by a court for littering is £2,500.
“[The fine] is intended to stop her feeding the gulls and pigeons,” the spokesman added.