An elderly woman in a mobility scooter had to fight off a vicious seagull after it swooped down on her head.
Marjorie Dyson, 82, was shopping in Cleveleys and was outside the TSB bank on Victoria Road West when the bird attacked last Friday afternoon.
She suffered a bruised eye and swelling to her face.
She said: “It was a painful experience. It dived into my face and nearly had my glasses off.
“It had to fight it off with my arm.
“I called in at the doctors. I was shook up. My cheek was swollen up and I had a bit of a black eye.”The grandma-of-two has now pleaded with people not to feed the seagulls.
She believes the bird may have attacked her because it mistook the yellow flowers she was carrying in her scooter basket for food.
She said: “People are not supposed to feed them but when the day trippers come in they feed them fish and chips on the Prom, and that’s what makes them so brave.“When people are
eating they come right down and snatch it out of your hands.
“It’s just one of those things but I’m frightened to leave the house now. I don’t go out a lot; I just potter around the bungalow.”
Wyre Council last year held a public consultation on proposals to make feeding seagulls an offence, punishable by a £100 fine.Marjorie said: “I think it’s a very good idea. I think it should
be more than a £100 fine to be honest.
“Years ago when I was a child we always came to Blackpool and Cleveleys and saw the seagulls but you weren’t scared of them.
“Now they seem to get bigger and bigger every year. They’re like monsters.”
The results of the consultation have not yet been released.
A Wyre Council spokesman said: “Following our consultation last year, we will be producing a report for cabinet approval with the proposal to introduce a public space protection order on feeding seagulls in a public place in Fleetwood, Thornton, Cleveleys and Knott End.”
The system would rely on members of the public naming and shaming offenders and it is hoped any order would help to educate members of the public that feeding seagulls can cause harm to other residents and be a nuisance’, the spokesman added.Wyre residents have been advised not to feed the seagulls and to keep litter to a minimum.
Wyre residents can report seagull attacks to the council by visiting the website. Go to: www.wyre.gov.uk/info
Wild birds, including seagulls, are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
It is an offence to intentionally kill, injure or take any wild bird. It is also illegal to damage or destroy their nests and take or smash their eggs. People may not use traps to kill or injure wild birds, or intentionally or recklessly disturb them.
Most game birds are not protected by these laws.
Nesting gulls ‘more territorial’
In 2013, Blackpool Council claimed nesting gulls had become more territorial and aggressive, as well as causing noise, mess and damage to homes.
Residents were advised to place nets around their chimneys to stop the birds nesting inside.
One elderly Blackpool woman had returned from hospital to find seagulls had settled in her chimney and attacked her every time she tried to leave the house.
Blackpool RSPCA also advised residents to purchase spikes to place on their roofs to deter the birds, which cannot be disturbed once nesting.
Seagulls swooped on pensioner’s meat pie
Marjorie is not the first pensioner to report a vicious seagull attack in Cleveleys.
In November, ex-coal miner Samuel Spencer was set upon by a flock of seagulls who stole his Poundbakery steak pie and left him with a two-inch gash on the side of his head.
The incident happened on Victoria Road West - where Marjorie was also attacked.
Samuel, 81, said: “As soon as I got the pie out a seagull attacked me, grabbed the pie and cut my face, either with its beak or claws.
“There was more than one. They were all over me. It really shook me up. I managed to get to the bus stop and I was bleeding like a pig.”
Like Marjorie, he also called on authorities to do something about the pesky birds.
He said: “You see kids eating hot rolls and ice creams. If they got attacked it could affect them for the rest of their life.”
Folk may soon be fined for feeding the gulls
Wyre Council last year announced it could declare war on seagulls as a consultation was launched into plans to fine those caught feeding them.
According to the proposals, anyone caught feeding the seagulls would face a £100 fine under legislation designed to tackle anti-social behaviour.
The Public Space Protection Orders would prohibit the feeding of gulls in large parts of Wyre. Cleveleys, Thornton, Fleetwood and Knott End.
More than 300 people had their say on the proposals. The results have not yet been announced.Speaking at the time, Martin Hunns, from the Carousel Diner, said: “There is a problem
with seagulls but I don’t think it’s been as bad this year as it
was last year.
“When people finish eating outside as soon as they leave the table the gulls are down for the scraps, our staff are pretty sharp getting out there and getting it cleared up.“People shouldn’t
be feeding them but I’m not sure how you go about fining people.
“Is there going to be a dedicated seagull patrol?”