Berwick residents have called for action to clean the seagull mess splattered on the town centre’s streets, pavements and buildings.
While the seagull issue is a perennial one, the recent dry and warm weather seems to have made the sight and smell of their presence worse than normal.
It has led to concerns about hygiene and the impact on tourism and left residents asking what, if anything, can be done about it.
“It’s an environmental hazard and health risk,” complained Ann Scott on facebook.
“Myself and several others have complained about the state of our town with the muck they spew down on the pavements, buildings, cars and people! This dirt, filth needs to be cleaned off pavements daily...Berwick is scruffy.”
Ian Beresford added: “Should be cleaned up. Was across in Malta in April and they were hosing the streets there. We can’t even get grass cut so cleaning pavements is a pipe dream I guess.”
Frankie Simpson said: “I live in the town centre and it’s a nightmare! Our car is constantly covered, constantly having to wash it and a few hours later it’s covered again, everyone always comments on how disgusting and dirty it is and it’s quite embarrassing too.
“I agree the seagulls are part and parcel of a seaside town and I never had a problem but this is getting ridiculous. Since living in the town centre I’ve seen the seagull population rapidly grow and the mess and noise get worse and worse. It’s about time it’s gotten under control.”
However, some people say there are more pressing issues to tackle.
Vicky Ryan said: “I think the dog mess around Berwick is more of an issue to be honest!”
Debbie Brown added: “Part and parcel of a seaside town. Bit of rain will wash it away.”
Northumberland County Council has a specialist sweeper which can tackle the seagull mess.
A council spokesperson said: “We have a specialist sweeper for cleaning the streets and paths in and around the town. It has a hose that is used to tackle particularly dirty spots, including the mess the seagulls make.
“Although the sweeper follows scheduled routes, if we are aware of an area that needs urgent attention, we do our best to ensure that the sweeper gets there to clean up the area as soon as possible.”
Management at the Granary Guest House commented: “If we are to take pride in our town and have tourists encouraged to visit then I would have thought it goes without saying that when there is a long dry spell then the water bowser/pavement cleaner should be used. We take on board that there are daily and weekly routes, but surely Marygate and Hidehill two main thoroughfares should take priority at this time of year...especially when there is a long dry hot spell.
“From an environmental and health view where there are many families visiting the town on holiday it is very important to maintain a level of cleansing, which, is very evident at the moment that this does not exist.”