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Seagulls Invade Lowestoft, Stealing Food And Disrupting Phone Calls

Residents and tourists in the English seaside town cope with aggressive seagulls causing chaos and annoyance.

Seagulls are plaguing a seaside town – by stealing food and squawking so loudly people can’t even use their phones.

“Vicious” birds are swooping on locals and tourists alike in Lowestoft, England, it is claimed.

The daring gulls have taken to stealing ice creams and fries at the popular family holiday spot – and make such a racket that talking on the phone is tough.

The gull invasion comes after East Suffolk council set up ‘hotels’ for the birds earlier this year – which means up to 430 pairs can nest in the port.

Ashley Catchpole, 24, is a beach cleaner from Lowestoft.

He said: “They’re cute in some ways – but when they go after food they really are vicious and quite horrible.”

“They’re very determined once they see food. The trouble is that some people feed them which makes it worse.

“When I sit down to eat my lunch they come really close and touch me.

Seagulls are plaguing a seaside town – by stealing food and squawking so loudly people can’t even use their phones. PHOTO BY JAMES LINSELL-CLARK/SWNS  

”I don’t hit them I just tell them to go away and sometimes have to swing my hand down.

“Even then sometimes they don’t clear off and I have to hide my food.

“They’re very loud as well. Sometimes you can be on the phone and you can’t hear anything because the seagulls interrupt you.”

Sam Faulkner, 35, from Welwyn Garden City, England, was visiting Lowestoft last week.

He said his son’s ice cream almost got stolen by a bird – on the first day of their holiday.

Sam said: “I bought my son an ice cream and a seagull tried to swoop in and take it from my son’s hand.

“It flew away once I shouted but it kind of hovered near his head trying to get it.

“I can see why people don’t like them. I can imagine when it’s busy they’d be a problem.

“The woman working at the ice cream stand said that they’re a nuisance as they’re opportunists and hover around the food shops.

“There should probably be a sign telling people to watch out for them.”

Beach cleaner Adam thinks people who feed the gulls should be fined, as a deterrent.

He said: “They should be looking for their own food out at sea not eating chips and ice cream. It’s not good for their health.

“It’s not just holidaymakers that feed them, it’s some locals as well. It means they keep coming back for more which makes the problem worse.”

“I think that if someone feeds the seagulls they should get fined. That might help the problem.”

East Suffolk council confirmed it created “kittiwake hotels” earlier this year – with space for up to 430 pairs.

Kittiwakes are a type of seagull.

A council spokesperson said: “East Suffolk Council is a member of the Lowestoft Kittiwake Partnership, which has a broad membership, including Suffolk Wildlife Trust, the RSPB, and members of the community and local business groups.

“The partnership was established to enable a coordinated approach to a number of issues around safeguarding the endangered urban nesting kittiwake population while acknowledging the interests of businesses and residents.”

“In March this year, artificial nesting structures, or kittiwake ‘hotels,’ were installed by energy firms Vattenfall and Scottish Power at the Port of Lowestoft to accommodate up to 430 pairs of seabirds and protect them from predators.

“More recently, energy firm Ørsted completed two nearshore kittiwake hotels, one kilometer from the shoreline of South Beach, as part of a Kittiwake Compensation Plan (KCP), required by the Planning Inspectorate, which sets out the proposed compensation relating to potential in-combination effects of Hornsea Three offshore wind project on the designated kittiwake population.”

Produced in association with SWNS Talker

Edited by and

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