Annan residents who are “tormented” throughout spring and summer by hordes of seagulls are this week pleading for help.
Householders in Carlisle Road are preparing for more months of chaos because the nuisance gulls return in March and cause havoc until around August.
They are now calling for Dumfries and Galloway Council and nearby business owners to work together to properly address the problem.
Carlisle Road resident Laura McGregor said: “Since 2014 when I moved into my property, I have contacted the council annually to put in complaints about the seagull issue on the Standalane council property located at the rear side of my house.
“The building was torn down in 2020, but unfortunately the problem of the gull infestation only migrated to the new flattened terrain, and the neighboring buildings; mainly DFS caskets but also the old Pinneys factory, Tires Express, and Alpha Solway.
“We are tormented during the entire gull season, and these gulls are more than a nuisance.
“They damage my property, moving tiles on my roof when they land, and defecating on the house and car.
“Nothing can be left in the garden or they steal it.
“They swoop at us and our animals when we are in our garden.
“They wake us up at 4am-5am in summer months, and cause a horrific noise at dusk and dawn when they swarm.”
She added: “The council and local businesses need to work together on this.
“It seems to be a battle to get anywhere with the council and DFS Caskets – with neither of them taking responsibility for the issue.
“I have spoken with neighbors on Carlisle road, and on Stapleton Road, and everyone is of the same opinion as me.
“Most of them have also complained directly to the council and to some of the businesses with no avail.”
A spokesman for DFS Caskets said that the company had received no complaints directly from residents, but had been liaising with the council since last Friday about the seagulls problem.
He added: “We have told the local authority that we’re more than happy to work with them to help ease the situation for the local residents as much as we can.
“We’ve already been in touch with local roofers to see if they can check out the roof, clean up the moss, and see if there are any nests there.
“The difficulty we are encountering at the moment is: yes, we could get a company in fairly rapidly to clean the roof, but then there’s a question of licenses protecting the birds that are nesting.
“We make coffins, we’re not experts in wildlife.
“So, at the moment, we’ve got two or three companies who could help us clean up and clear the roof, but I think it’s at the stage where we need to apply for a license to do it.”
Dumfries and Galloway Council has committed to spending up to £83,500 per year on tackling the seagulls problem, and last year appointed an officer dedicated to the gulls issue.
The gulls officer can assist with advice on applying for a license through NatureScot to deal with nuisance gulls.
To contact the gulls officer email: [email protected] or call the council on 030 33 33 3000 and ask to speak to the gull officer.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.