Kirkcaldy to tackle seagull menace

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A scheme which aims to reduce the number of seagulls plaguing Kirkcaldy’s town centre has been revived.

The ‘nest and egg removal’ project is being run by Kirkcaldy 4 All in conjunction with Fife Council, having proved a success in past years.

BID manager Bill Harvey says he hopes to see an end to seagull attacks in Kirkcaldy.

“We are working with the same company EcoLab, with funding from Fife Council which has asked us to oversee the project.

“Effectively it’s the same as we’ve done before.

“We saw a big downturn in the number of seagull attacks on people in the town centre when we ran it in the past.

“We ran it for four years but last year we didn’t have the money to do it.

“This funding became available again so we’re going for it. We want to reduce the attacks on people, and limit the number of gulls in town.”

The process involves the removal of gulls eggs and nests as humanely as possible.

Bill said. “It’s all governed by Scottish law, and EcoLab are licensed to do this.

“They visit the town at the beginning of the mating season which is now, and as the birds lay eggs they remove them and the nests. This indicates to the gulls that this is not a good nesting site and they will go somewhere else.

“You don’t actually harm any birds and if it’s discovered that a chick has been born they are not touched, it’s only at the egg stage.”

Seagulls are notoriously clever and resilient and Bill says the Kirkcaldy public can play a part in ridding the town centre of this menace.

“This has to be an education process,” he said.

“If there’s not food in the town for them they will go elsewhere. But we live in this society where everything is thrown away.

“The idea here is not to eradicate seagulls - far from it.

“It’s to dissuade them from building nests around the town centre because they are very successful at what they do.

“What they will do generally come down over the left shoulder. I can watch them from my office window on the High Street. They sit and wait for a victim to walk past and they come down from behind the and take what they’ve got.

“They’re very good at it!”