Devon council are stepping into the fray in an attempt to save the area from a Hitchcock-esque nightmare following a number of bird attacks.
Not quite your classic movie hero trope, the district council of east Devon, which includes the popular Exmouth and Sidmouth resorts is introducing a £80 fine to ward off people feeding seagulls.
The pecuniary matter comes as many holidaymakers have found themselves rather perturbed by being divebombed by gulls in scenes reminiscent of a scene from The Birds, and the apparent attacks endured if they don’t give up their last chip to the swarms.
“Seagulls become accustomed to being fed by people and will attack them if they are not offered food,” said local councillor Iain Chubb. “It isn’t very nice when they do come – it’s almost like a horror movie.”
Chubb moved to allay fears of council wardens hiding in the bushes waiting to dish out fines however.
“Quite often the seagulls will sort of swoop over you and if you’re a small child and a thing with a three-foot wingspan comes towards you like a pterodactyl you might just throw your food up in the air,” he added. “If you were to feed a seagull a couple of chips, there’s nobody going to pounce out the bushes and say ‘you’ve got a fine’.”