Summit to praise
Here’s a novelty: I would like to congratulate East Devon District Council on its recent ‘Seagull Summit’!
I went along with some trepidation, given that culling seems to be the first resort nowadays for any living thing that dares to cause the slightest inconvenience to humans, but came away impressed by the panel’s constructive approach.
Besides initiatives such as proofing buildings and replacing seagull eggs with fake ones, what really came out of the meeting was the urgent and fundamental need for improved waste management and public awareness.
As the chairman put it: “We can’t expect gulls to change their behaviour if people don’t change theirs.”
Nor can we expect the authorities alone to fix the problem: we all have a role to play, by not leaving litter, taking food waste home with us, making sure our bins are secure, and above all not feeding the gulls.
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Witness the inspiring example of Seaton, where the council, businesses and townspeople are working together to get this message across through posters and car stickers, links on council and tourism websites, school talks, local press, etc. Let’s hope Sidmouth Town Council will follow suit!
Meanwhile, a welcome first step is the eye-catching “Please don’t feed me” poster produced by EDDC, which all businesses are being encouraged to display in their windows.
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Copies can be obtained from EDDC’s environmental health department (01395 517456) or downloaded from their website www.eastdevon.gov.uk/seagulls.
We have always been a town with a strong sense of civic responsibility: let’s take this opportunity to prove it!
Sharon L Howe