New signs to thwart Kirkcaldy’s dive-bombing seagulls

Cllr Alistair Cameron with the new signs (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)
Cllr Alistair Cameron with the new signs (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

A Fife councillor has ramped up  a campaign to tackle the seagull problem plaguing Kirkcaldy.

Alistair Cameron, Labour representative for Kirkcaldy central, hopes to raise awareness to how the gull population can be better controlled.

Signs reminding people not to feed seagulls have been put up in Kirkcaldy High Street and the surrounding area, including the Esplanade.

Last year, Fife Council received more than 100 complaints regarding seagull attacks.

Councillor Cameron said: “Fife Council have been dealing with more and more complaints and comments from people being attacked every year.

“I’ve seen people either deliberately feeding them or dropping food and it just encourages them.”

The bright red notices have been placed at eye level, to make them stand out more, and have Don’t Feed The Gulls written in white block letters.

Councillor Cameron added: “We are asking that people don’t leave bits of food on the ground and that they don’t encourage their children to feed them.

“I saw a man get attacked at the weekend and it’s a frightening experience – the birds are pretty big.”

It is not just people dropping bits of food that Councillor Cameron hopes to discourage – he wants to see less people eating while walking the High Street in general.

He added: “The advice we are giving to people is to not eat in the open. Sometimes that’s unavoidable so we would say if you have to, eat near walls as the seagulls can’t swoop if you’re close to a wall.”

While other coastal towns attract high levels of tourism, none of the attacks seem as frequent as those in Kirkcaldy.

Councillor Cameron said he thinks the problem is the larger population, adding: “Even though other coastal towns in Fife get a lot of tourism, we still have a much higher population, so we have more gulls.

“We do seem to have it a bit worse than other seaside towns.  Another problem is the number of bins we have.”

The councillor hopes to get the support of local cafes, restaurants and takeaways.

He said: “Their help is quite important – we need them to make sure they are closing bins at the back of their properties. Without a regular food source, the seagull population will decline and they will head back to the water where they’re supposed to be.”