Seagulls held elderly couple hostage in their home for almost a week

Seagulls held an elderly couple hostage in their home for almost a week after nesting above their front door and ATTACKING them when they tried to leave

  • Roy and Brenda Pickard couldn’t leave their Lancashire home for almost a week 
  • Mr Pickard, 77, was attacked by a gull as he made his first attempt to escape 
  • Bird left him bleeding at the back of the head and he had to go to hospital
  • The Herring Gulls were protected by law because they were nesting at the time 

An elderly couple were held hostage in their seaside home by seagulls for six days – and even ended up in hospital.

Roy and Brenda Pickard were unable to get out of their front door for almost a week after two seagull chicks slipped onto the canopy directly above their front door.

The positioning of the baby gulls – just nine foot off the ground – meant any time Mr Pickard tried to leave his home, two squawking adults greeted him.

One hit the 77-year-old so hard on the back of his head that he had to go to hospital to have the bloody wound treated. The couple had to erect a gazebo to give them cover and enable them to sneak out of the garage door instead.

Pictured: The baby seagull that the parents were so keen to protect – by swooping on the pensioners if they left home 

Eventually, the local BBC radio station responded to the news by erecting a gazebo outside the home, in the hope that the birds won’t see as the pensioners sneak out of their garage. Mr Pickard had contacted the station for help 

Mr and Mrs Pickard (pictured) have been prisoners in their own home because they risked coming under attack from defensive seagulls if they stepped out of the front door 

The pensioner from Knott End, Lancashire, said: ‘The whole thing has been terrible. I’ve not been able to go out of the front door. 

‘If I try to get out of the door, the two adult birds are right there and I’ve got no chance. It’s genuinely frightening.’

He added: ‘My wife isn’t well or very mobile at the moment so we’re relying on me to get out. Thankfully, we have an integrated garage and I can get into it from the kitchen, open the garage door and drive out to get our shopping, but I have to leave the garage door open, which isn’t ideal.’

The retired ambulance driver can’t bear to think what would have happened had he been injured more seriously during his first escape attempt.

‘If that bird had hit me in the face instead of the back of the head, I dread to think how seriously injured I would have been,’ he said.

‘I had to go to Royal Lancaster Infirmary to get treatment but thankfully I could get in the car.’

This seagull is one of the two that have been menacing the pensioners in a bid to protect their young in Lancashire 

Wyre Council revealed the birds were Herring Gulls and are protected while they are nesting.

Mr Pickard phoned the RSPCA, RSPB and his local BBC radio station after the siege started on Friday.  

‘The RSPCA and RSPB have been no help whatsoever, they seem to put the rights of these birds above those of people, which is ridiculous.

‘The public pays donations to keep these organisations going and this is what you get.

The birds have bullied the pensioners in their own home, with Mr Pickard left bleeding from the back of the head after one swooped on him

‘Wyre Council sent a man down and he took a photo, and then they seemed to tell me they would bring someone else around with an umbrella to protect us.

‘But they don’t seem to be able to do anything about the birds – and these chicks could be there until the end of July.

‘Why are seagulls protected? They are not an endangered species, they’re a flaming nuisance.’

Eventually BBC Radio Lancashire came out to the couple’s home and arranged for a gazebo to be set up temporarily outside the door to provide some relief. 

A Wyre Council spokesman said: ‘We sympathise with Mr Pickard’s situation, seagulls can be troublesome, particularly when nesting.

‘We have visited Mr Pickard to assess the situation and have given advice on how he can deal with the gulls.

‘For now, a solution is in place which will enable Mr Pickard to take his wife to her private appointment.

‘The gulls in question are Herring Gulls and they are protected once nesting and so there are limited solutions available.

‘We advise residents who have a problem with seagulls to bird proof their properties prior to the breeding season.

‘We offer advice and support on our website on how you can bird proof you property at’


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