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Norwich woman fed up of seagulls’ ‘hysterical shrieking’ calls for council to take action

PUBLISHED: 14:15 07 August 2017 | UPDATED: 11:43 10 August 2017

Barbara Searle is fed up with seaguls near her home.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Barbara Searle is fed up with seaguls near her home. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2017

A Norwich woman is calling for something to be done about the city’s seagull population after growing fed-up with their “hysterical shrieking.”

A seagull in Lowestoft town centre.  PHOTO: Nick ButcherA seagull in Lowestoft town centre. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Barbara Searle, who lives off Bethel Street, she is regularly woken by the birds at night, while neighbours have reported being dive-bombed in their gardens.

During the summer months, she claimed there could be anything from 15 to 20 gulls sitting around her property in the city centre.

Now, the 68-year-old is calling for Norwich City Council to take action and address the problem.

She said: “This is normally quite a peaceful environment, but [during the summer] you can’t go out of your front door without being shrieked at.

“It is the noise and the mess they create which is the problem. And they don’t ever seem to sleep, so they just shriek when they feel like it.”

It comes as experts last month claimed that the number of urban gulls had tripled over the past five years in Norwich.

Dr Iain Barr, senior lecturer in ecology at the University of East Anglia, said he had warned the city council “years ago” about the problem.

But he said there was no longer a solution to the issue without spending vast amounts of money.

MORE: “They are the new pigeon” - seagull numbers triple in Norwich and experts warn there is no solution

Mrs Searle said she did not want to see the gull’s killed, but did want the council to try and tackle the issue.

“I was horrified to hear the ecologist say it is too late now.

“One thing they have on The Forum is silhouettes of hawks and that seems to deter them, so whether we should have something like that I don’t know.”

Mrs Searle said she has already had to install spikes on her property’s roof to stop the birds building nests.

And she added that it was not just her house that was affected.

“My neighbour was dive-bombed last summer when he was working in the garden,” she said.

“Another time I was warning someone who was working on a roof about the gulls and just as I was telling him, one swooped down.”

A spokesperson for Norwich City Council said: “We have recently received complaints about litter issues caused by seagulls in the city centre.

“Our environmental protection team are working with businesses to deter gulls by reducing the time bags of trade waste are left out for collection and to see if clear waste sacks can be replaced with opaque bags where possible.”

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