Over the last few years gulls have become a serious issue in Peterhead town centre, with evidence suggesting that fear of attack by birds was deterring shoppers from visiting local shops, particularly during the height of summer when many young birds were fighting over food. The effect on businesses was very damaging.
This year, Rediscover Peterhead Ltd built on this initial work, extending the range of the project to cover the whole BID area. Unlike previous years, there was no charge made as the cost was met through the BID levy, supported by a grant from the Aberdeenshire Council Regeneration fund. The removal of the nests and eggs was carried out by Presly Pest Control, the company who carried out the work in 2016 and 17. Presly are members of the National Pest Technicians Association; their staff are qualified to nationally recognised standards, and they are fully insured. The work was carried out legally, under a general licence from Scottish National Heritage (the government agency responsible for wildlife legislation).
Presly have gained access to the nests mostly by means of a telescopic lift which goes over rooftops, minimising any risk of damage to slates. Both nests and eggs are removed and disposed of. The first visit took place in late April and the work was completed on the 8th July. This method has helped stop gulls rebuilding their nests, and the timing of the visits has ensured that any eggs laid won’t reach the point where they are ready to hatch. Not only has this reduced the number of birds causing problems in the town centre, it will provide benefits for roof maintenance, as there will be no nests left to rot on top of the building or blocking the gutters.
Because this year the gull control was focused on a larger area the results have been considerable with 541 nests and 1168 eggs removed. Gull control is a national issue and every project will have challenges with access to narrow streets and some nests may have been overlooked. However, town centre businesses can be rest assured that great efforts have been made by Presly Pest Control and we would recommend their services to others with gull control issues and would like to encourage all town centre visitors not to feed the gulls.
We look forward to a cleaner and safer Peterhead town centre this summer, and see the long-lasting effect this project has in years to come.