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Town urged to not feed the birds to make it 'as attractive as possible'

PUBLISHED: 15:43 08 July 2019 | UPDATED: 17:13 08 July 2019

'Don't feed the seagulls'. Picture: Nick Butcher

'Don't feed the seagulls'. Picture: Nick Butcher

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A town has been urged to not feed the seagulls and birds as part of a plan to make the centre as "attractive as possible".

Cllr. Craig Rivett, deputy leader and cabinet member for economic development, East Suffolk Council., Dan Poitras, chair of Lowestoft Vision, Amie Mullen, Lowestoft Vision BID manager. Picture: Contributed by Suffolk Chamber of CommerceCllr. Craig Rivett, deputy leader and cabinet member for economic development, East Suffolk Council., Dan Poitras, chair of Lowestoft Vision, Amie Mullen, Lowestoft Vision BID manager. Picture: Contributed by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce

Since the beginning of this year, a hawk had taken to the skies over Lowestoft as part of an effort to tackle the increasing problems with seagulls in the town.

Lowestoft Vision - the town's business improvement district (BID) - commissioned Norfolk Wild Encounters to provide the intensive period of hawk flying.

The aim was to ward off the birds from key retail and recreational areas and to ensure that they nest away from the centre of town.

The time frame was chosen so they finished before any seagull eggs have hatched - to ensure none of the existing chicks are harmed.

Now, with help from the East Suffolk Council, they are encouraging people to not feed the birds which are still lingering in the town's centre.

To encourage locals and tourists to not feed the birds, bright posters and stickers have been introduced and will be distributed to businesses as well as placed in key locations.

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The campaign is also urging businesses to keep their own bins and other areas where food waste might be stored as securely as possible.

Dan Poitras, chair of Lowestoft Vision: "Gulls and pigeons aren't interested in interacting with people - they're just after your food.

"But the mess and disturbance caused by such feeding frenzies leave parts of the town centre looking dirty and unkempt.

"One of the objectives is to ensure that the centre of Lowestoft is as attractive as possible and residents, visitors and firms can certainly do their bit to help in this endeavour," Mr Poitras said.

In May, Mr Poitras said Lowestoft Vision received a number of complaints from shoppers about the aggressive gulls, with reports that food items had been snatched.

At the time, he said: "We have now signed an agreement with Norfolk Wild Encounters that the hawk will fly to deter the seagulls for the next four years.

Last week, David Cansick, 77, from Great Yarmouth called on the authorities to get to grips with the seagull problem following a frightening seagull attack.

He said: "When I got back my wife thought I was going to have a heart attack because I was so out of breath."

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