Are you covered?

No, you are not!

Gull Control in the East Lothian Council Area is a discretionary service. For a number of years now the service has been made available on demand only, but I am not sure anyone round our way knew that. One might have guessed given the “austerity cuts” and direct observation, if you ever go out in Dunbar between April-September it is Guano Central.

The lack of control raises important questions about the environmental, social/health and economic costs of ceasing treatment, particularly at a time of concern about avian virus vectors.

Originally published in May 2012; Amended: May 2020

If you are a regular on Dunbar High Street or planning to visit don’t forget the brolly! It is raining today, but at other times you are in for a different sort of shower. For the Herring Gulls (aka Larus argentatus) are back to regale us with their raucus call and much more. By April / May in most years the High Street, parked cars and windows are already getting decorated with multi-colored guano, birds seem to have a perpetual diarrhea. If you are lucky enough, you may get hit from on high by the foul smelling stuff.

If you live on and around the High Street, and there is a nest or more nearby, expect to have to wash your car, windows and patios/decks several times a week at least, or even daily if you’re on a flight path.

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Bad gulls or bad human behaviour

No one seems to love herring gulls, not least the Prime Minister who felt compelled the other day to declare yet another pointless war with an enemy that we probably had a significant hand in creating. The RSPB argues the contrary that the population has halved and down to 378,000 pairs, which makes our wee colony of a few hundred seem a tad insignificant.

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Who Controls Dunbar?

Gull Control Dunbar - No ParkingIf you’ve ever visited Dunbar in the summer, you’ll know it is the resident gull population that is in control. Local Dunbar residents share their tight living spaces with a small but significant colony of nesting gulls, which in some previous years have bred rather too successfully.

Gulls are a nuisance, not so much because they call incessantly during the breeding season, but because they foul persistently. Gulls are smart too and have learnt how to persuade teenagers to part with the food, congregating at school times at the local Grammer school, on the High Street in the evenings, when fish and chips are shared. They will also tear open a bin liner and spread its contents liberally, enter shops and homes and increase your window washing bill from £0 to £100s.
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What concerns Abbeylands Residents?

Residents say they need parking
Residents say they need parking

We ran a small survey over the summer. Not the best time to get a good response rate, and not the largest sample, but we got a sufficient number of returns nonetheless and this has enriched the otherwise impressionistic picture of problems and issues that we have been building up for our end of the High Street. I am mindful that it is still only a snapshot of views (Link to the full interactive chart) but all the same indicative.

Ahead of all problems mentioned, and overwhelmingly so were:-

  • Lack of Residents Parking,
  • Littering around shops, and
  • Poor Council Consultation.

I am not sure we needed a survey to tell us there is not enough residents parking, there is no residents parking on the High Street, unless you’re lucky enough to be a social housing tenant!

Continue reading What concerns Abbeylands Residents?