IN A scene worthy of Alfred Hitchcock, angry seagulls have
thwarted the attempts of fund-raisers to scale a church tower in
The abseil down the 80-foot tower of St Ia, the parish church of
St Ives, to raise funds for Christian Aid, was called off on
Thursday of last week after organisers deemed the risk of attacks
by the birds too great.
"I did not go up to the roof, but the two that did got quite
badly attacked," Wendy Sampson, from the Rock Centre, the company
that organised the event, said on Tuesday. "We have a duty of care,
and could not have customers in a nervous state being attacked by
The Priest-in-Charge, the Revd Andrew Gough, said that seagulls
were a "huge problem" in St Ives, and had "a habit of swooping in
and taking people's pasties from them". Nevertheless, it had been
"quite a surprise to open the door to the tower, and find that
seagulls were nesting there and had two eggs".
He suggested that the gulls that prevented the abseil were
simply protecting their eggs, but said that he was now considering
putting netting over the top of the tower, to protect it from
damage caused by the birds.
The Rock Centre is preparing to assess another church tower in
Mousehole, Cornwall, where it is hoped that fund-raisers will be
able to abseil in safety.