Baby seagulls are drowning in Hastings seafront boating lake

A Hastings animal lover is calling for urgent action to be taken to prevent young seagulls from drowning in the boating lake on Hastings seafront.

Dead gulls at the boating lake SUS-200308-130910001
Dead gulls at the boating lake SUS-200308-130910001

Angie Hamp, from Old Humphrey Avenue says she and her partner Mick have rescued more than ten young gulls in the space of a week.

She explained: “The gulls have not yet learned to fly properly and have still to develop the oils which act as waterproofing on their feathers. They go into the lake and get water-logged and then get exhausted and go under.

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“All they need is some sort of ramp they can walk up and get out of the boating lake.

“We have rescued so many in the past week and are going down there every day at the moment. A few had actually gone under and we just managed to get to them in time.”

Some of the young gulls were not so lucky and died before Angie and Mick could get to them.

Angie added: “Some we have let dry out and get their strength back and those that were in the worst condition were taken in by the RSPCA at Mallydams, in Fairlight.

“Last year was the same, and many days it was three to six birds that we rescued. Herring Gulls are in decline and are a protected species.

“The breeding population of Herring Gulls, a Red listed species has fallen by 60% since the 1980’s according to Natural England. Herring gulls are also protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.”

The boating lake is leased out but owned by the Foreshore Trust and Angie has contacted Hastings Borough Council asking them to look at the situation with the view of providing a ramp for the gulls.

She said: “I got in touch with Cllr Margi O’Callaghan and she was very helpful. We have the full support of Mallydams and a local builder has said he is willing to help.”