Seagull-proof rubbish bags foil the flying marauders

Photograph by Sid Saunders
Photograph by Sid Saunders

The sight of herring gulls and other feathered offenders tearing into bags of domestic rubbish in Lewes will soon be a thing of the past.

Over the last six months Lewes District Council has been trialling the use of seagull-proof bags to reduce the amount of waste that the gulls end up leaving strewn on roads and pavements on the day of the weekly waste collection.

The powerful birds rip into conventional bags with ease but have now met their match in the shape of a super strong hessian bag that has proved impenetrable to seagulls.

The 80 litre size bags carry the Lewes District Council logo and were delivered to residents living in terraced properties with a shortage of space to store a conventional wheelie bin.

Cllr Paul Franklin, the council’s Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Waste and Recycling, said: “The bags have proved highly successful at stopping the gulls and are extremely popular with residents.

“Reports of torn black sacks in the town are down by nearly 70 per cent and we are pleased to extend this scheme to more properties across the town.”

The seagull-proof bag initiative is free and is being extended to properties in the following areas: St John Street, Sun Street, Lancaster Street, High Street, West Street, East Street, Little East Street, Fisher Street, Talbot Terrace and Pelham Terrace.

The council offers a wide range of waste and recycling container options that are made available to householders.

If you think your location would benefit from this initiative please contact the council at