One British city is planning to deter seagull from landing there by playing recordings of the birds in distress.  

Council bosses were branded ‘bird-brained’ over the move, which came after Worcester scrapped plans to become the first city in England to cull the animals in more than 40 years.

The original proposal was scrapped last year when the local authority realised it would not be possible to apply for a licence to kill the birds, since they are protected by law.

But since then, the council revealed it would investing £60,000 of taxpayers’ cash – likely rising to £74,500 next year – in exploring other options.

Previous proposals have included using lasers to deter the birds and using a cherry picker to destroy seagull nests in tall buildings.

But now the possibility of playing gulls’ distress calls to try to frighten them away is being considered.

Some locals are distinctly unimpressed by the idea, and wonder if it will become more of a nuisance than the birds themselves.

Mum-of one Felicity Shaw, 41, who lives near the land-locked city centre, said the birds had been making residents’ lives a misery for years.

She explained: ‘I know first hand the problem these birds can cause but to suggest playing distress calls is one of the most bizarre (ideas) I’ve heard so far.

‘Surely it’s going to be impractical and even more of a nuisance to beam out these horrible squawking sounds from our rooftops.

‘How on earth would it work? Are we going to have music festival speakers erected on top of the cathedral pumping out bird sounds at loud volume?

‘It just sound barmy.’

Councillor Andy Stafford, chairman of Worcester City Council’s environment committee, said: ‘There are only a few gulls left in the city at this time of year.

‘But everyone in the city knows that when they return in the spring for the nesting season they once again become both a pest and, in some cases, a direct threat to public health and safety.

‘Earlier this year we doubled the budget to tackle the problems they cause to £60,000 and now is the time when we have to start planning for their return, so that we make sure there are fewer breeding pairs in 2022.’

The new action plan also includes creating three experimental gull nest exclusion zones in the city centre.

The idea is to ensure there are no nesting gulls in these zones, through a range of measures includes installing spikes, netting, and wire-mesh cages at popular nesting spots.

The council will also turn to activities to disturb birds, like tapping rooves and shining lights, while subsidies for property owners to make their buildings gull-proof could also be brought in.

But it is the idea of piping gull sounds which has most perplexed supermarket worker Brian Toye.

The 55-year-old said: ‘I didn’t think this council could come up with many more bird-brained ideas but this one tops the lot.

‘Something does need to be done though, so I’m glad they are at least exploring options.

‘I would love to know how they propose to play sounds of seagulls – we’ve got enough of them already without listening to fake birds on top of the real ones.’

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