THERE have been fresh calls for a cull to tackle Edinburgh’s seagull menace – with one resident even threatening to take matters into his own hands.
The anonymous Leith resident behind a cheeky “Leith Against Seagulls” page on Facebook has attracted huge support among local residents.
And it has led to new demands for action to tackle the problem amid fears extra rubbish on the streets during the Festival will only worsen the problem.
The city’s burgeoning gull population has long caused problems across the Capital, with homeowners complaining of rubbish being left strewn all over the road, early-morning wake-up calls, and even being attacked by the birds.
In an open letter to the council, the man, known only as James, wrote: “The Council Seagull division has exactly one week to respond and take action or I will instruct the people of Leith to dowse bread in bicarbonate of soda and feed it to the seagulls.”
The user behind the page says the “flying car alarms” leave him unable to sleep, claiming he would have more chance of dropping off during a space shuttle launch.
The Facebook page has gained 1300 “likes” in under a week.
Lochend resident Daniel Verstappen meanwhile wrote: “I stay down Lochend and they absolutely haunt the streets here.
“In the last week they have caused two deep holes and scratches on my bonnet where they put their claws in it.”
While not supporting vigilante seagull culling, local groups agreed the problem needed to be addressed urgently.
Leith Central Community Council chair Roland Reid said: “I’ve been woken every morning around 4am for the past few months by gulls outside my window. The squawking and screeching is unbearable.
“The gulls have now even learned how to lift the lids on the street side bins so there is rubbish all over the place each morning.
“I imagine the gulls will just get more aggressive once the Festival gets under way and all the litter that will create. Something needs to be done.”
James Reynolds of RSPB Scotland said he understood the problem but urged restraint from residents.
He said: “It is illegal to intentionally or, in Scotland, recklessly injure or kill any gull or damage or destroy an active nest or its contents.
“The RSPB is obviously against people taking the law into their own hands, and in order for a lethal solution to be considered it must be proved that seagulls pose a credible threat to humans.”
A council spokeswoman said: “We recognise that seagulls can be a nuisance, particularly during the nesting period between April and August.
“The council provides advice to residents about how to deter gulls and offers pest control services on a commercial basis.”
Councillor Lesley Hinds, the city’s transport and environment convener, added: “The council is well used to the pressures that the influx of extra people during the Festival places on street cleanliness.
“We have increased our resources to cope with this and extra environmental wardens and street cleaning staff will be out and about.”