Cardiff gull wars get personal – keep Cardiff tidy!

THERE has been much written already on the gull population of Cardiff, but now it’s personal. Anyone who’s met Welsh Icons assistant editor will attest that he needs that beauty sleep, and this morning the beady eyed avians shattered it at 6.30am.

As a one-time Gloucestrian, I’ve seen gull battles before – they’ve tried falcons, real and cardboard, and various culls including painting oil onto eggs – and they tend to be long and attritional.

I like seagulls – particularly in the air they are wonderfully elegant birds – but I like them by the sea and preferably at a safe distance.

Caring little for the name we’ve stuck on them though seagulls are perfectly happy in cities – high rises are in their eyes a tempting cliff face on which to nest, and as scavengers our streets are littered with tempting scraps for them.

I’ve got no time for the idiots who attack and kill them as the RSPCA reports is becoming more common in Cardiff; a revelation which even forced a rare acknowledgement of the existence of Wales on the BBC’s flagship Today programme.

I’m not going to pretend they’ll kill you, lower your houseprice or give you swine flu, but a large resident seagull population will be a large pain.

It certainly won’t do anything to improve public health, the appearance of our streets or the experience of tourists and shoppers. They’re aggressive when protecting their young and aren’t shy at the best of times, particularly in mobs they are quite capable of bothering and upsetting small children or pecking at a sandwhich clutching hand – everyone’s got a story about a relative or friend being attacked for their chips at the seaside. Hair gel might be big with Cardiff youngsters but seagull poop does not a good replacement make and is no better for your clothes, your health or your skin.

Many people are campaigning for wheelie bins to protect the food waste Cardiff residents are dilligently collecting for recycling and they would almost certainly help.

However, all Cardiff residents could do something straight away. The reason I was so rudely awoken this morning is because someone had lost their tray of chips on the way home last night, sparking a minor seagull riot.

So use bins for your litter and don’t feed the buggers on the streets; in Gloucester they started out living at the city tip untill they discovered the city’s streets were paved with pasties.

No food, no seagulls. And you’ll be helping to keep our capital city beautiful too.

In the meantime, here’s a Seagull you can enjoy if you’re into this whole 80s revival thing:

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