Seagull expert and bird scientist Peter Rock carried out research into the feeding habits of St Ives resident gulls by fitting the birds with GPS tags, offering insight into how best people can live alongside them and reduce negative encounters.
Peter has provided some top tips on how man and bird can enjoy their time together in St Ives and these are printed on the Seagull Trail maps.
“People either love or hate seagulls but whatever your feelings, these gulls have lived in St Ives for a long time, over 30 years, so we all need to become more aware of how these creatures behave so we can learn to live together more successfully,” Peter said.
“Tidying up after yourself, not feeding the gulls, and knowing the different gull calls and noises and understanding what they mean can all help to reduce negative incidents and enable people to live more happily alongside the gulls.”
Peter is supporting the Seagull Trail campaign, alongside many local businesses and community groups.
Seagulls are currently being decorated in readiness for the trail’s launch by volunteers including artists Katrina Slack, Keran Sunaski Gilmore, Sharon McSwiney, Donald Macleod and The Sloop Collective; pupils at St Ives Junior School, St Uny CofE Academy; children at Little Seahorses and Hi-Tide Kidz Club, and the staff of Shoreline Tattoo parlour.
Local artist Katrina Slack said: “It is wonderful to be involved in a campaign that will help raise awareness about this much misunderstood birds. Hopefully the campaign will reveal more about the Herring Gull and what is happening to their natural habitat and food sources, as well as finding ways to avoid confrontations with them over our food.”
Keran Sunaski Gilmore, a St Ives-based artist also decorating one of the seagulls, said: “I am thrilled to be part of this exciting campaign that will help to raise awareness of seagulls in our town.
“Seagulls are a huge part of life in St Ives and it is so important that we start to show people, both local and visitors, how to live side by side with them positively.”
The 12 decorated seagulls are being sited at supportive venues and businesses, on rooftops, in shop windows and outside well-known venues and popular shops, creating a trail which will stretch through the town taking in Tregenna Place, the Drill Hall, the harbourfront and arcades, Porthmeor Beach and Fore Street.
The trail is due to launch by the end of July in time for the school summer holidays.