BUSINESSES on a Barnstaple industrial estate say they have been under siege by seagulls for too long and have had enough of the feathered pests.
People working on Pottington Industrial Estate are regularly dive-bombed while buildings and cars have been damaged by layers of bird poo.
Business owners say the estate is constantly strewn with rubbish after seagulls attack bins and employees have to put up with the birds’ constant squawking.
Some firms already pay hundreds of pounds a week for measures to prevent the birds from nesting on their buildings.
But at a meeting on Monday night at the Barnstaple Hotel nearly 40 business owners and representatives met to discuss how they can rid the estate of the birds for good.
The meeting was set up by Chris Bonner, a landlord on the estate.
He said: “We need to set up a business group, like we used to have, and team together to get rid of the birds.”
Business owners and representatives discussed culling the seagulls.
But North Devon Council regulatory services manager Andrew Millie said it was unlikely business owners would get a licence to cull the birds.
Amy Noblett, the office manager at Barnstaple Hotel, confirmed the hotel spends between £3,000 and 5,000 a year to use a hawking procedure to remove the gulls.
She added: “We have been hawking for three years. It is a complete nightmare.
“We often have to have people out in the car park three to four times a day picking up rubbish the birds have left.”
The meeting agreed the seagull problem had got worse over recent years and this summer had been particularly bad with the hot weather.
Amelia Isaac, from The Sign Shop, said she wished people could have eaten outside during the summer but the swooping gulls made it impossible.
Paula Birch Symons, from the Chelsea Quilt Company, said one of her colleagues got in her car recently after work and couldn’t see because of the amount of bird mess on the windscreen.
After an hour’s discussion it was agreed a business group should be established and quotes for hawking the whole estate and removing the nests and eggs from the buildings be obtained.
The quotes are due to be discussed at the next meeting in November and a decision on how to deal with the seagulls will be made then.