Torbay Council

Cookie Policy

Seagulls and Pigeons


What the law states

Herring Gulls and feral pigeons are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Birds cannot be taken or their eggs or nests destroyed unless there is a serious hazard to public health, and such cases are rare. Less serious but still annoying issues such as fouling or noise nuisance can lead to calls for a cull. It is however generally acknowledged that culling is ineffective as outside populations of birds soon move in to fill the vacuum left by culling.
Prevention is better than such drastic cures.
This means encouraging gulls back to the cliffs and away from residential areas or public places by storing refuse safely, and denying them food and perching space.

How does this affect me

Whilst there is no law against feeding gulls or pigeons, Torbay Council strongly recommends that people avoid doing this:

Bird proofing your property

Pest control companies and specialist bird proofers offer an arsenal of deterrent measures to stop gulls perching or nesting on ledges and roofs.  TOR2 offers a service to deter birds nesting or becoming a nuisance at domestic and commercial premises.