August 1, 2016
Burnham-On-Sea cafes support new 'don't feed seagulls' campaign

A community campaign to improve sea water quality standards in Burnham-On-Sea has this week urged visitors and holidaymakers 'to feed the bin, not the local seagulls' this summer.

The school holidays are now in full swing and many families have been making their way to Burnham-On-Sea to enjoy picnics on the beach or to have a delicious portion of chips at the many food outlets along the town's seafront.

Sometimes, though, the seagulls are seen stealing chips out of people's hands or diving onto people eating food in the open air.

Not only are gulls dangerous when they dive, but waste left behind by the gulls often pollutes the beach and sea, says the campaign group Litter Free Coast & Sea Somerset.

Harriet Yates-Smith, Litter Free Coast & Sea Somerset Coordinator, told "When the Environment Agency measures the amount of bacteria in bathing waters to determine how clean they are, bird poo can be one source of bacteria."

"The problem with the single message of 'please do not feed the gulls' is that it doesn't give people the reason 'why'."

"This campaign aims to share the message that feeding gulls has many negative effects and its best to feed the bin, not the birds."

"For the campaign, planned for the first week of August, local take-away outlets, cafes, pubs and caravan sites in Burnham-On-Sea are joining forces as they are standing up to seagulls and encouraging their customers to feed the bin and not the birds."

"The food establishments and campsites will be putting up eye catching, vibrant posters and stickers in their windows and on their fast food packaging all with the same message 'Don't feed the locals'. The posters explain why people shouldn't feed them and how to avoid a gull attack."

Keith Holman from Brit Chips in Burnham told "We're supporting this campaign because, at the end of the day, the gulls are a real nuisance and they sometimes attack our customers."

"It's much better if people know not to feed them because it encourages bad behaviour like snatching food off people's plates."

Harriet added: "Remember, the birds aren't hungry, they're just greedy and feeding them your food can will only encourage dangerous behaviour and damage their health."

"Please help make a difference to the water and beach and help us achieve cleaner seas and beaches by binning any left-over food and not feeding the seagulls."

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