More calls for action against gulls as store tries fake fire

Halfords have been trying novel means of deterring gulls
Halfords have been trying novel means of deterring gulls

A MORAY STORE manager has explained how Gulls had been making the lives and staff and customers a “misery” for over a year.

Halfords store in Elgin has been taking radical action in the hope of discouraging gulls from interfering with their business after almost a year of their causing “quite a lot of drama”, according to the store’s manager James Skimming.

“They make loud banging noises when we have been trying to serve customers and it does not look very nice when our merchandise outdoors is covered in their droppings,” Mr Skimming said.

He was speaking after the store had painted the surface of the store’s roof with a gel coating that is designed to fool the birds that the building is on fire. Halfords have also put a set of kites in position that is designed to lead the gulls into thinking that a bird of prey is perched on the roof.

The action follows years of complaints from Elgin residents and those from communities throughout Moray over the increasing issue of gulls invading rooftops – often a long way from their natural seaside habitats.

Mr Skimming said: “Everywhere in Elgin seems to have seen quite an increase in problems with the gulls recently and we really need to take action – we needed to protect our customers and their cars from these birds.”

Local councillor Patsy Gowans, who last month called on Moray Council to take action against gulls nesting on the roof of the nearby Elgin Academy building, said that perhaps it was time the local authority followed the lead being shown by Halfords.

She said: “Using gel to deceive the birds into believing the roof is on fire is certainly a novel approach and I’d say it was worth a try at the academy.”

There are also calls from Elgin Community Council for more to be done in dealing with the issue, with member Mary Wall saying: “Anything that will help get rid of gulls is welcome – but more effort needs to be made to prevent them from accessing food in the town.

“In some places there are clear public warnings not to feed gulls and that should also be adopted in Elgin.”