Seagulls are not the biggest threat to Bristol's heritage, though this Post report says they are. Just compare the scale of total seagull impacts with total human impacts for instance! There are problems caused by droppings, noise and so on but the Post headline and story are an exaggeration. The Post could have made a much better attempt to produce and publish a piece which explores all sides of the issue - after all if we are to solve gull related problems its going to be on the basis of everyone being better informed. This BBC report gives a good explanation of why there are so many seagulls in cities and sets the context for cities and birds pretty well - http://tinyurl.com/ctxm9tk .
Those who may be tempted to advocate shooting gulls need to know that all species of gull are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985.
According to the RSPB, 'This makes it illegal to intentionally or, in Scotland, recklessly injure or kill any gull or damage or destroy an active nest or its contents. In Scotland, it is also illegal to prevent birds from accessing their nest, and in Northern Ireland, it is illegal to disturb any nesting bird. In addition, the Mediterranean gull is protected under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, making it illegal to intentionally or recklessly disturb the birds at or close to their nest in Britain or to disturb their dependent young.
However, the law recognises that in certain circumstances control measures may be necessary. Simple nuisance or minor damage to property are not legally sanctioned reasons to kill gulls. The UK administrations can issue licences, permitting nests to be destroyed or even birds to be killed if there is no non-lethal solution, and if it is done to prevent serious damage to agriculture, the spread of disease, to preserve public health and safety and air safety, or to conserve other wild birds...'