Stickers to deter nuisance seagulls

Ashley Mitchell (right), owner of Frydays in Seaton, attaches a Please Don’t Feed Me sticker to each

Ashley Mitchell (right), owner of Frydays in Seaton, attaches a Please Don’t Feed Me sticker to each take-away fish and chips package bought from his outlet. Helping him with the stickers are Seaton Mayor Gaynor Sedgwick and EDDC Technical Officer Debbie Challice. - Credit: Archant

Nuisance seagulls are being targeted in Sidmouth and two other seaside towns by a pair of new, humane initiatives.

Following a Seagull Summit organised by East Devon District Council (EDDC) last year, a falconer is now flying his birds in the town as well as Exmouth and Seaton to disturb nesting sites.

And fish and chip outlets are starting to use stickers to remind customers not to feed scraps or left-overs to gulls, to stop them becoming a menace to people eating outdoors.

The latter project is the brainchild of Seaton Mayor Gaynor Sedgwick, who first put forward the idea at the summit.

Stickers have been designed, approved and printed by the district council. They will now be rolled out across a large number of take-away food outlets.

Councillor Sedgwick said:“We enjoy the gulls. They belong at the seaside and it is our fault that sometimes they are a nuisance. The stickers are a way of reminding people that they do not help the gulls or our community if they feed them.”

Outlets have a strip of self-adhesive stickers that are applied to food containers as they are handed to customers. They carry an image of a gull and the simple message ‘Please don’t feed me’.

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EDDC is also encouraging building owners to protect their roofs against nesting gulls and use an authorised contractor to replace any eggs laid using dummy eggs.

All businesses are also advised to keep their outside areas clear of rubbish and left-over food.