Try and see the gulls’ viewpoint

I feel I must respond to Lawrie Brownlee’s letter (“Don’t be gulled,” Opinion, July 25).

To take his points in turn:

1. Yes, we have a large number of seagulls around our home and they come on our roof and into our garden on a daily basis.

The ‘screaming and fighting in the middle of the night’ – actually, more often at dawn – does not disturb me. Maybe because I don’t get irritated with something I appreciate?

2. From a seagull’s perspective, our buildings are simply an extension of the cliffs and therefore are part of their natural habitat, so of course they will use them.

We can hardly expect the gulls to appreciate any difference and, if we build within the seagull’s natural range, we have only ourselves to blame.

3. I am often caused ‘distress’ by bad drivers and dawdling visitors in Sidmouth, but I do not wish to get rid of either!

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The Earth belongs to the seagulls as much as it does to us – the Bible makes us stewards, not owners. Don’t walk along eating and you are unlikely to get ‘attacked’. If the gulls are swooping low, just stand still. They are skilful flyers and won’t hit you.

4. Check out the human sewage and refuse in the sea! Besides, a hose can work wonders.

Maybe, at the end of the day, how we feel about seagulls has more to do with our own – often selfish – attitudes, than with the birds and their activities.

Demonise seagulls and they will drive you crazy. Look on them as another part of the creation to which we all belong, with their own needs and right to exist, and they can become an enjoyable, indeed integral, part of the seaside environment we who live here, unlike the gulls, have chosen for ourselves.

The peace of Christ be with you.

(Rev) David JC Wheeler