A POSTIE is arming himself with an umbrella to prevent being attacked by seagulls in Inverkeithing.

The Press reported last week that a woman was left bleeding on the face after being swooped down on by the “deadly” birds in Rosyth. And it’s not just locals that are being targeted with posties on their rounds also having to watch out for the flying menaces.

Garry Haldane, Communication Workers Union (CWU) rep at the Dunfermline delivery office, said that while his colleague’s method of warding off attacks in Scotmill Way has worked so far, postal workers are advised not to make deliveries if it’s unsafe.

He said: “Safety is obviously paramount, and we’re advised to not deliver and return to the office. If it’s a potentially dangerous situation, you shouldn’t make the delivery.”

He added: “Using an umbrella is quite an inventive solution. Maybe there’s a future out there for an entrepreneur to create seagull-proof umbrellas? A company elsewhere installed on their roof a fake flying eagle on a wire, which moved in the wind and scared off seagulls.

“They won’t mess with a fake eagle, but they’re more than happy to have a fight with a 20-stone man or a group of people.”

The Royal Mail confirmed they are aware of the issue in Inverkeithing and a spokesman said: “The safety of our people is paramount to Royal Mail.

“Our postmen and women can experience difficulties out on delivery in some areas due to swooping attacks by seagulls. We are monitoring the situation to ensure we can continue to deliver safely to customers.”

Other readers shared their concerns with one man in Inverkeithing left cut, bruised and with a torn jacket after a gull encounter. Last year, Fife Council ruled out measures to tackle the problem as too costly. The nesting season for gulls, when they are perceived as a nuisance to the public, is April to August.

The council’s Dawn Jamieson, said: “At this time of year seagulls are protecting their young as they leave the nest. Unfortunately they perceive residents as a threat and will swoop down on them. This can be very frightening. During the summer months we receive several complaints about the problems caused by seagulls. We encourage everyone to play their part by not feeding the gulls – deliberately or by dropping litter.”