Along with Tim McKenzie, from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service, we at Inner-City Wildlife Concern believe that herring gulls are a colourful and special part of our coast (The Argus, April 22). They are great survivors and opportunists but misunderstood by some coastal town residents.

The herring gull is extremely vocal, especially during the nesting season. The males are also protective of their young.

We believe it is these two points which have led to the gulls' reputation for being noisy, aggressive and greedy.

There are people who don't want the gulls nesting on their rooftops. These people can use deterrents which should be put in place well before the nesting season starts. Some deterrents are dangerous, such as the wrong type of netting and flimsy spikes. Expert advice should be taken on what to use as it is the saddest sight to see a bird of any type trapped or hanging in netting - no bird deserves that.

Everyone should learn to live alongside our gulls - as most people do. Look at their good features such as their outstanding aviation, what excellent parents they are and their cheerful, cheeky personalities. We defy anybody to watch a pair of nesting gulls through from the 27 days of egg incubation to the day their young fly away independently and not be impressed by the tireless hard work carried out by the parent gulls.

As the herring gull is in decline, a cull would be wrong. A summer's day by the sea without seeing and hearing these gulls would be a sad day indeed.

  • Gloria Wheatcroft, co-ordinator, Inner-City Wildlife Concern, Brighton and Hove area