Dina Wilson with the colander she used to protect her from seagull attacks in Herne Bay. Picture: Chris Davey
A grandmother is being forced to protect herself from seagull attacks in her garden... by wearing a colander on her head.
Dina Wilson, from Herne Bay, has been dive-bombed by a bird nesting in her roof as she went to bring in her washing.
One attack even drew blood as the creature pecked the 71-year-old's scalp.
Now she is calling on the council to stop people feeding the birds and for fast-food outlets to cover their waste, which the birds feast on.
Councillors will discuss what to do about the problem at a meeting in the town tonight.
Dina Wilson with her weapon against seagulls - a colander
The attack on Mrs Wilson happened after a chick fell out of its nest into the garden.
She did not notice it by her washing line and its mother swooped down to attack her.
When she went out in the garden again, it dived at her again - and pecked her head, drawing blood.
Mrs Wilson, of Beltinge Road, said: "I had to go around my garden with a colander on my head to get the washing off the line.
"I think a fox must have got the chick in the end as it couldn't fly and it was soon gone.
"We have got grandchildren and while an attack on an adult is bad, it's another thing with a child. It could be quite scary for them."
Seagulls come back to the same nest every year above Mrs Wilson's home, but she plans to remove it now she has been attacked.
She thinks businesses need to be more careful with their waste and people should stop feeding them.
Mrs Wilson said: "If you go down the High Street early in the morning, all the takeaway shops have their rubbish out in purple plastic bags.
"They are full of chips and left-overs and the seagulls rip them open and have a wonderful feast.
"The easy solution would be for the council to provide boxes to businesses to put their bags in and that will be the end of the story."
Seagulls have been terrorising residents in Herne Bay
Cllr Ron Flaherty will ask the council to produce a report on the issues of seagulls on the coast at the Herne Bay Area Member Panel meeting.
He said: "There are a number of residents telling me they are being attacked by seagulls in their back gardens, simply because the gulls are nesting near their houses on their chimneys.
"It's not just on the coast, but inland as well. I've heard reports of attacks in Herne.
"But the problem is clear – we're not helping ourselves by allowing both residents and visitors to feed the seagulls.
"From what I gather, other coastal areas have bylaws preventing it and people who do feed gulls face fines. If this is an approach that works, then it should be looked at.
"I came to Herne Bay 27 years ago and there were hardly any seagulls on the seafront.
"The population has increased enormously and it’s got even worse in the last five to 10 years.
"When somebody drops a chip you get 50 or 100 seagulls descend on it, with poo all over the pavement and all over cars. It’s ridiculous.
"These gulls are scavengers. They're not to be fed."