Editorial

Cheltenham could get an anti-gull drone – does Stroud need one?

Councillors in Cheltenham are mulling deploying a sophisticated hi-tech deterrent to strengthen the town’s war on gulls.

The anti-gulls’ drone, if deployed, will fly across the town to spot roof top nets that will become target points for preventive measures in the town’s bid to root out the birds. The gulls are terrorising residents especially at night in ways the councillors describe as unacceptable.

Officials are considering oiling more eggs to stop the birds from hatching when the gulls are spotted by the retored robot.

Series of recommendations have been drafted for the Cheltenham Borough Council cabinet by a council working group for consideration.

One among the various recommendations is the proposal for a drone as well as involving the highways authority – Gloucestershire County Council, to shut the roads temporarily which the council believes will make it “more easily to allow a more nimble approach to treating nests”.

A report prepared for the council’s overview and scrutiny committee shows urban gulls colonies rose from 239 in 2000 to 473 in 2015 – this shows the number increased by nearly 100 per cent.

The massive increase in the number of urban gulls is explained in part as the rise of temperatures in towns, urban refuse and nearby landfill sites, street lighting allowing night time foraging, and building allowing the birds to nest comfortably – the document submitted to the council said.

 

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