Plea issued after reports of people harming seagulls in South Tyneside

People are being urged to report wildlife crimes to the police following reports of seagulls and seabirds being deliberately harmed in South Tyneside.

By Sophie Brownson
Saturday, 1st May 2021, 6:00 am

South Tyneside Council has urged people to respect the birds along the borough’s coastline as it confirmed that a ‘small minority’ of people cause harm to the wild birds, including damaging their nests or eggs.

In a statement shared on its Facebook page, the local authority said: “In South Tyneside, we have all kinds of birds around our beautiful coastline.

"Our seabirds are a huge part of South Tyneside and should be appreciated as part of what makes our area unique.

All types of gull are a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

"Unfortunately, a very small minority of people cause harm to our wild birds, including the protected species of gulls, including harm to their nests or eggs.”

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All types of gull are a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, this means that hurting gulls or damaging their nests (during nesting season) is a criminal offence.

South Tyneside Council urged people to report such incidents to the police, saying: “If you suspect a wildlife crime, please report it to Northumbria Police online or by calling 101.

“If you find an injured or distressed bird this can be reported to the RSPCA or Pawz for Thought.”

In South Tyneside, the common gull is one of the most dominant of wild birds along the seafront but among the other sea birds in the borough are the black headed gull, herring gull, kittiwake and common sparrows.

The council’s warning comes as it urges people not to feed the gulls and to keep away from nesting areas and young gulls.

Gulls are very protective of their young and may attack people they perceive as a danger.

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