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Beware the ‘XL Gullies’! Residents claim Liverpool is becoming overrun by huge seagulls feasting on litter and food waste

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  • Liverpool City council has spent £9.5m to clean up the litter this financial year 
  • Some seagulls have even been spotted attacking and eating other birds
  • Have YOU seen an ‘XL Gully’? Reach out to lettice.bromovsky@mailonline.co.uk 

Locals have claimed their city has become overrun by huge seagulls, which they have taken to calling ‘XL gullies’.

Liverpool residents have said these seagulls are becoming monstrously large because they are feasting on all the litter and food waste from around the city.

The city council has already spent £9.5million to clean up the litter this financial year, and it is now adding a further £4.6million in a bid to improve cleanliness around the city.

‘On Old Hall Street they take your food from you as soon as they see the Greggs bag. They come from nowhere, swoop and it’s gone,’ Debbie O’Reilly told the Liverpool Echo.

Another resident Phil Murphy said: ‘It’s the size of them that gets me. They’re huge. Some of them are off the scale.’

Liverpool residents have said these seagulls are becoming monstrously large because they are feasting on all the litter and food waste from around the city

Liverpool residents have said these seagulls are becoming monstrously large because they are feasting on all the litter and food waste from around the city

The city council has already spent £9.5million to clean up the litter this financial year, and it is now adding a further £4.6million in a bid to improve cleanliness around the city

The city council has already spent £9.5million to clean up the litter this financial year, and it is now adding a further £4.6million in a bid to improve cleanliness around the city

This month Liverpool City Council launched its 'Spring Clean' campaign, which support schools, community litter picking groups and friends of parks groups, with free materials for participants to collect the rubbish

This month Liverpool City Council launched its ‘Spring Clean’ campaign, which support schools, community litter picking groups and friends of parks groups, with free materials for participants to collect the rubbish

This month Liverpool City Council launched its ‘Spring Clean’ campaign, which support schools, community litter picking groups and friends of parks groups, with free materials for participants to collect the rubbish. 

Councillor Tom Crone, leader of Liverpool’s Green Party, has urged people to be more mindful about their waste and asked locals and tourists not to drop their litter.

He said: ‘We are seeing how the populations of animals are changing because of human behaviour. The sheer volume of discarded takeaways we see now are just too good an opportunity for seagulls. 

‘They are skilled, clever scavengers and the amount of litter and food thrown away is bringing them further in-land. The amount of food left around the city centre is clearly a driver of this behaviour.

‘It would be great if people could be a little more mindful about how they are disposing of their litter. There are other issues too – like why we are allowing food companies to create so much disposable waste in the first place.

‘There are other issues too – like why we are allowing food companies to create so much disposable waste in the first place.’ 

One Facebook user revealed a gruesome video of a seagull attacking and then eating a pigeon

One Facebook user revealed a gruesome video of a seagull attacking and then eating a pigeon

'On Old Hall Street they take your food from you as soon as they see the Greggs bag. They come from nowhere, swoop and it's gone,' said Debbie O'Reilly

‘On Old Hall Street they take your food from you as soon as they see the Greggs bag. They come from nowhere, swoop and it’s gone,’ said Debbie O’Reilly

Councillor Tom Crone, leader of Liverpool's Green Party, has urged people to be more mindful about their waste and asked locals and tourists not to drop their litter

Councillor Tom Crone, leader of Liverpool’s Green Party, has urged people to be more mindful about their waste and asked locals and tourists not to drop their litter

Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and communities, Laura Robertson-Collins, also said that the behaviour of seagulls in the city are a symptom of a throwaway culture

Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and communities, Laura Robertson-Collins, also said that the behaviour of seagulls in the city are a symptom of a throwaway culture

Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and communities, Laura Robertson-Collins, also said that the behaviour of seagulls in the city are a symptom of a throwaway culture.

She told the Liverpool ECHO: ‘Hats off to the seagulls to be honest. Why try and eat from an overfished sea when you can come into the city for chips and a kebab? 

‘They have adapted. I work in the Cunard Building and we have to be very careful when eating a sandwich out in the open around there because they do swoop in.

‘But yes, this is a symptom of the habits we have, in as humans, the takeaway culture that means food is always being delivered at the touch of a button and all this litter and mess we see on the streets.’

Some have taken to social media to express their shock at the sheer size of the birds and shed some comical light on the situation. 

With one writing: ‘Premium quality seagulls, only in Liverpool.’ 



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