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Safety fears prompt call for ‘gull cull’

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SEAGULLS displaying aggressive behaviour in Tenby have prompted calls for a “gull cull” – amid fears for public safety.
Councillors in Tenby say herring gulls in the town are attacking builders on rooftops and families on beaches.
The town’s Mayor Sue Lane requested that the local authority be approached to see if there was a way of controlling the belligerent birds.
“It’s a dangerous issue health wise and it’s getting out of control,” she said. “So I feel the time has come to get in touch with the county council, to see what control methods can be brought in.
“They were once just sea birds, but now they’re fast becoming land birds and need controlling.”
Businesspeople in the town say incidents of food snatching have become more common as the birds become over-familiar with humans.
Mario Fecci, of Fecci’s Ice Cream Parlour, said the gulls had become skilful opportunist who were now an increasing nuisance.
“We’ve had customers who have bought cream cakes or ice cream and had them snatched right out of their hands.
“There is most definitely a problem with gulls here in Tenby, where it seems they are nesting.
“It’s not just a problem for holidaymakers. Living in the town ourselves, we are quite often woken up around 4am with very loud squawking.
“They have become quite aggressive. You see them walking up to people on the parade and not thinking anything of snatching chips out of their hands.
“They are not scared of people any more. But we all have a responsibility not to feed them. The seagulls are opportunists who are finding it much easier to survive off fish and chips on land instead of finding food at sea, where they should be.”
Builder Andrew Thomas said there had been incidents of dive-bombing.
“If you’re near their territory, and there are chicks in the nest, they can get quite aggressive.
“One of our boys just got out of the van to use the cashpoint, and a gull swooped down at him. He raised his arms and it flew off but you can see how people with young kids would be scared.”
Andrew Davies, Tenby Town Council’s clerk, said the town’s Civic Society had written to Pembrokeshire Council to request seagull-proof bin bags.
“These are bags to put domestic rubbish in that can’t get torn open by gulls. Apparently there have been pilots in the West Country.
“Although the town council and county council encourage residents to cover their rubbish, not everybody does and the gulls are very intelligent birds. They are getting to realise that they can get underneath the covers.”
The RSPB’s Grahame Madge “Gulls are very intelligent and live on their wits.
“They will capitalise on any way they can find food and will try to seize ice creams and fish and chips from people at places like Barry Island, or in cities like Cardiff.”
A spokesman for Pembrokeshire Council said any work to reduce seagull numbers was too late this year.
“We have advised Tenby Town Council that it is now too late in the year to commence a programme of gull control, if that is what they wish to do.
“Any such action would need to commence in January or February.We have also pointed out that any such control work is expensive and no appropriate budget currently exists within the County Council.”

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New Eco Feature For Haverfordwest

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Plans have been submitted for a ‘living green wall’ to be planted in the centre of Haverfordwest in a bid to enhance local biodiversity and wildlife.

The green wall would be situated alongside the river opposite Glan-yr-Afon, the town’s library and cultural centre, and planted with 25 species of native plants including ferns, grasses, flowers and wild herbs including basil, sage and clary.

As well as providing an important habitat for pollinators, the wall would also be an attractive natural feature in its own right, says Sara Morris, Pembrokeshire County Council’s Development Plans and Conservation Manager.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to re-introduce nature in the heart of Haverfordwest,” she said. “As with all planting, it will take some time for the plants to grow and flourish but given time it will look very attractive.”

The maintenance of the wall, which is scheduled for installation towards the end of October, would be carried out by a team of volunteers. New benches made from Welsh slate would also be installed to encourage residents and visitors to enjoy spending time in the area.

The green wall is part of the Cleddau Reaches partnership project which forms one of the priorities in the Haverfordwest Regeneration framework.

The Cleddau Reaches partners are Pembrokeshire County Council, the Bridge Meadow Trust, Haverfordwest Town Council, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Haverfordwest Kayak Club.

Pembrokeshire College and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority have also supported the project.

The aim is to improve and enhance the rights of way network in and around Haverfordwest and in particular, around the Western Cleddau, through several different inter-linked schemes.

Grant funding of approximately £250,000 has been provided by the NRW, Haverfordwest Town Council and the Landfill Disposals Tax Community Scheme.

Cllr Paul Miller, Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture, says the project’s focus on the river follows recognition that for too long, it has been an under-utilised resource despite being one of the town’s key natural assets.

“The Cleddau Reaches project brings together many ideas which the community has put forward over the last 20 years,” he said.

“As well as boosting biodiversity, the project forms part of the wider package of investments we are bringing forward to support Haverfordwest Town Centre.

“This administration is determined to revive the fortunes of the County Town, transforming Haverfordwest Town Centre from a traditional retail centre that’s being left behind into a vibrant leisure destination where residents and visitors alike want to spend their time.”

Some of the work currently taking place as part of the Cleddau Reaches project includes new riverbank paths near the Bridge Meadow with plans to create a new footbridge connecting to the Old Mill Grounds.

Other plans include creating habitats for sand-martins, otters and lampreys upriver, creating a trail linking up with the Town Council’s Priory Saltings project, and installing five interpretation boards along the route describing the flora, fauna and history of the local area.

The green wall planning application is currently registered with Pembrokeshire County Council for determination.

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Homes in Pembrokeshire can get free boilers and insulation

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PEMBROKESHIRE HERALD is teaming up with Blackburn based company Euro Insulation, who are working on a Pembrokeshire County Council backed energy scheme called the ECO: Help to Heat programme.

The scheme intends to utilise government funding for the reduction of fuel poverty within the county.

The council says that it has worked for many years to improve homes locally, and is keen for as many households to sign up as possible.

The local authority is working with ECO energy installers.

Funding is only available for private owner occupiers and private rented tenants. Qualification of flexible eligibility in Pembrokeshire will be determined by certain criteria.

Grants are available to a range of households including those with someone aged over 60, with a child under 5, and homes with children in primary or secondary school, or with a pregnant mother.

The Pembrokeshire Herald is letting as many homeowners know as possible about the scheme and has a call centre open to take queries on behalf of Euro Insulation who will be doing the work.

The aim is to reduce C02 emissions and make homes more energy efficient in Wales.

They are with the Welsh Assembly Government to show homeowners how they can get a brand-new boiler, internal wall insulation and room-in-roof insulation

The funding is only available until December.

To be considered for a FREE boiler or INSULATION call our call centre on 01437 70 70 70

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Fishguard: Armed police presence at Fishguard port

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ARMED officers from Dyfed-Powys Police were on scene at the port in Fishguard this morning (Sept 18).

Border Force and the RNLI were involved in the operation, which reportedly involved a vessel being escorted into the harbour.

Details of the incident are still unfolding, and the police have been contacted for a statement.

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