More than 900 people have signed an online petition calling for the gull population in Fraserburgh to be brought under control.
After dealing with years of disruption due to the gulls, James Smith, from Fraserburgh, decided to start the petition to spread the word and try to find a solution.
He said: “We stay about half a mile from the beach and there are always gulls at my house. It gets worse every year, which isn’t helped by some people feeding.
“They make a mess every year, they wreck the cars, they wake up my three-year-old daughter, they attack me and my family and my elderly neighbour.
“It’s a right pest because you can’t go out in the garden and you don’t want to invite people to the house because of the noise and the dirt.
“This is just my little story but its the same for loads of people in Fraserburgh and in other towns.
“There are vast numbers that keep multiplying and staying at the same nesting places. These are now urban gulls that have never been to sea so they are staying here all the time.
“The town is covered in gull faeces, the houses and the streets, and we’ve had a period of dry weather so it just accumulated and got worse. It’s unsightly, it’s bad for the cars and it’s not good for people’s health either.
“When the gulls become urban gulls, they become a bigger problem.”
More than 900 signatures
Mr Smith hopes the petition will show how many people are affected by the gull issues in coastal towns and be a step towards finding a solution.
He continued: “The diving attacks and the noise had got on my nerves so much that I decided to start a petition.
“There have been a lot of people talking about the gull issue, and I thought putting up a petition would be a good way of logging some real interest and spreading awareness.
“There are almost 1,000 signatures and I’d say about 95% are from Fraserburgh. The response has been really good and it’s clear that a lot of people have the same issue at the moment.
“Also, by sharing it on social media as much as I can, I’ve seen that the majority of people do understand.”
Although most of the signatures are from those who live locally, people from as far away as Kent have also signed since the petition was launched a week ago.
Supporters of the petition have shared their reasons for signing online, with several being frustrated by the mess and “intolerable” noise caused by the gulls.
Karen Adam, MSP representing Banffshire and Buchan Coast, is also working to find a solution to the gull problem across her constituency, describing it as a “key issue”.
Starting with an online public meeting, she is giving locals the opportunity to share their thoughts and personal experiences.
Gulls are becoming more common in urban areas where they build nests on the roofs of houses and take advantage of any available rubbish.
The gull issue is most prominent in the summer months when gulls have had chicks and are still nesting.
The noise can be associated with mating and young gulls expressing their hunger, as well as parents who become aggressive when defending their nests.
It is illegal in Scotland to injure or kill any species of gull, to destroy an active nest and to prevent birds from accessing their nest.
However, the removal of nests and eggs from a property can be done to protect public health and safety.
Until an appropriate solution is found, people are being advised to not feed the birds or take action into their own hands.
A widespread problem
Gulls have be causing problems in other towns across Scotland for years now with local councils taking different approaches to resolve the issue.
Earlier this year, Moray Council expanded its gull control measures after a clearance trial proved successful.
Specialist crews have been recruited in the town to clear nests from rooftops which will reduce the next generation of gulls in the area.
The scheme in Elgin is the first of its kind in Scotland and is available for free to householders thanks to funding from the local common good fund.
Anyone who would like to sign the petition can do so at change.org.