Countryfile Magazine - - Lazy Days - Wendy Brooks, via email

I read with in­ter­est Sara Maitland’s ar­ti­cle on seag­ulls in the Oc­to­ber is­sue. I live by the sea in Devon and I just love the gulls. They are such clever and en­dear­ing birds. I find it hard to un­der­stand why so many peo­ple hate them. So much so that peo­ple try and run them over!

Many of us have ex­pe­ri­enced gulls try­ing to snatch food from us. It all amuses me. They are clever enough to sit and watch the places where hu­mans are eat­ing, be it the seafront, the fudge shop, the bak­ery. On Sid­mouth seafront there are signs telling peo­ple not to feed them. Why do peo­ple then think it is okay to throw chips for them, then com­plain when they are dive-bombed?

Have the peo­ple who hate them ever stopped to ask them­selves why gulls scav­enge? Apart from the in­crease in food-waste sites in­land, hu­mans have over­fished the sea to the ex­tent that the gulls’ nat­u­ral food sources have greatly di­min­ished.

The other com­plaint is the mess. I say, put up with it, en­joy these amaz­ing birds and if you don’t like it, don’t come to the coast.

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