Gull watch: Hawks and falcons patrol Penglais

29 January 2015

Aberystwyth University’s Director of Health and Safety, Phil Maddison with Harris Hawk, ‘Hope’.
Aberystwyth University’s Director of Health and Safety, Phil Maddison with Harris Hawk, ‘Hope’.

Over the past two years, Aberystwyth University has been calling on the services of Hawksdrift Falconry to control the population of seagulls on the Penglais campus.

On Friday 30th January, Hawksdrift Falconry owner Layla Bennett will be giving a seminar to students and staff on the use of falconry as a deterrent to the University’s seagull population.

The talk will take place in the Aberystwyth Arts Centre Cinema at 2pm.

During her talk, Layla will look at the impact that falconry has on the seagull population at the University, and aspects of the company.

Layla has previously appeared on Dragon’s Den, and on Oxford Street Revealed, where she used her hawk ‘Hope’ to control the pigeon population.

Along with ‘Hope’ who appeared at a similar talk on Monday 26 January, she will also be bringing ‘Monty’, her Gyrfalcon.

The University has been looking for ways of controlling the seagull population on the Penglais campus, particularly in the area of the Arts Centre piazza. Herring gulls are the most common seagulls on campus.

The hawks have been used to deter the seagulls from nesting on buildings on the Penglais campus. In twelve months the presence of the hawks meant that seagull numbers dropped by 50%.

Aberystwyth University’s Director of Health and Safety, Phil Maddison said; “It is within our duty of care to our staff and students at Aberystwyth to take preventative measures to reduce the risk of seagull related incidents on campus. We appreciate the protected nature of this species and therefore have opted to use this natural bird dispersal method of population control at the University.”

The talk is for the University’s community of students and staff.

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Contacts

Arthur Dafis
Communications and Public Affairs, Aberystwyth University
01970 621763 / 07841 979 452 / aid@aber.ac.uk