Blind Larbert man ‘scared’ to leave home because of seagull attacks

Colin Clarke says he and guide dog Vickie are regularly attacked by seagulls in Larbert. Picture: Michael Gillen
Colin Clarke says he and guide dog Vickie are regularly attacked by seagulls in Larbert. Picture: Michael Gillen

A guide dog user says he is unable to walk from his house to catch a train without being attacked by seagulls.

The frightening incidents have left Colin Clarke (31) so scared to walk from his home on Main Street, Larbert to the town’s nearby railway station that he would rather take the bus, even if it means a longer journey.

Registered blind since birth, Colin has relied on his guide dog, Vickie, for the past four years. Sadly, he believes Vickie may be the reason for the recent attacks, which Colin fears could cause either himself or his dog serious harm unless action is taken.

He said: “They fly right down, missing me by inches. Vickie is completely distracted because she is trying to protect me.

“I think it might be because they think she is a threat. I’m scared to go out. One wrong move for Vickie and she could take me out onto the road because she’s been distracted.”

Colin has approached both Guide Dogs Scotland and Falkirk Council to try to find a solution. However, as seagulls are protected by law, he knows he’s facing a difficult task.

Colin added: “I would have any nests destroyed or a cull put in place.”

A council spokesman said: “Falkirk Council cannot deal with gulls directly as a nuisance for a household, however, the biggest deterrent is not to provide food sources for gulls and ensure any waste food is disposed of correctly in closed containers. Gulls are attracted by waste thrown away in streets especially and will ‘learn’ where rich pickings can be found.”