Seagulls cause a flap

Seagulls above Davern Workwear
Seagulls above Davern Workwear

Residents in an area of March are living their own version of Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller The Birds with around 150 Seagulls squawking day and night.

The noisy birds - which are a protected species - have taken up residence on the roof of Davern Workwear in Elliott Road and they are plaguing residents with their constant screeching cries and dropping excrement everywhere.

Seagulls' calling cards

Seagulls' calling cards

This is the second or third year the birds have built nests and reared their young and residents in neighbouring Harvester Close are so fed-up with the noise and mess they have raised a petition calling for action.

One woman, who didn’t want to be named, said the situation is so bad she can’t even sit out in her garden for fear of being pooped on and the noise is too much to bear. During the recent heat wave she was forced to keep windows shut at night because the birds start squawking so early in the morning.

“Last year there were about 50 birds and it was bad enough. Fenland Council did install a noise monitor for 24 hours and then they put up a kite to try to drive the birds away but they weren’t phased by it at all,” she said.

“This year there are about 150 of them and the commotion they make is unbelievable, it is just constant. Davern have put up spikes to try to deter the Seagulls from nesting on the roof but they just walk around them. We have been trying to get something done, but it is difficult because the birds are protected,” said the woman.

A neighbour, who also didn’t want to be named, added: “The mess they leave is unbelievable, it’s all over the windows, the car and you can’t hang washing out. It’s just a nightmare. And I think it must be a health and safety issue with all the poo droppings everywhere.”

A spokesman for Fenland Council said: “A business in the area has experienced a large number of birds nesting on their roof and we are working closely with them to try to tackle the problem. However, there are limits to what we can do.

“Because these are wild birds, they are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, so anything we do has to abide by the law. The company has employed specialist contractors to remove nests and install bird-proofing measures on to the roof.

“Unfortunately, urban seagulls, including lesser black-backed and roof-nesting herring gulls, are a concern in towns and cities throughout the UK. There are no natural predators of these birds and very little disturbance to their habitat, which helps them to thrive.

“We sympathise with the residents and businesses affected and will continue to do all we can to resolve this problem”