Fife pensioners in a flap over close encounters of the seagull kind

The birds are terrorising residents (Pic: Neil Hanna)
The birds are terrorising residents (Pic: Neil Hanna)

Pensioners living in a Cupar sheltered housing complex have issued a desperate plea for help after suffering a reign of terror by seagulls.

Residents of Drysdale Gardens say that their lives are being made so miserable by the winged menaces that they can’t even sit in their own gardens.

And one lady who tried to enjoy her morning coffee outside was so alarmed by a close encounter with a gull that she ended up being scalded by her hot drink.

Said resident Charles Nicoll: “All the residents are being disturbed day and during the night by the incessant and relentless sound of seagulls.

“They are ruining our quality of life and have become a very real nuisance as we go about our daily business. Cars in our car park and those cars parked in front of the building are continually covered in gull droppings.

“At this time of year it is particularly bad because of young gulls about to fledge.

“All the residents who live here are retired and elderly. Summer should be the time of year when we as residents would normally be able to enjoy the outside facilities our properties provide.”

Mr Nicoll continued: “Currently we cannot use the seats in the garden to relax because of the noise and the real worry and constant threat for all our residents when the gulls fly in low over our heads.

“Like most people living in residential properties in town, the expectation is we should be able to lead peaceful lives unencumbered by a large and aggressive seagull population and the noise pollution from that population.”

The pensioners’ plight is the latest to hit the headlines in Fife. With the nesting season under way, the seagulls are protecting their young, making them even more aggressive.

There have been calls for the birds to be culled and Fife Council’s environment committee is to discuss the problem at its meeting on August 17.

All species of gull are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985.

Said a spokesman for the RSPB: “It is illegal to intentionally or recklessly disturb the birds at or close to their nest or to disturb their dependent young.

“However, the law recognises that in certain circumstances control measures may be necessary. Simple nuisance or minor damage to property are not legally sanctioned reasons to kill gulls.

“The UK administrations can issue licences, permitting nests to be destroyed or even birds to be killed if there is no non-lethal solution and if it is done to prevent serious damage.”