A FILM-maker who was told that an umbrella would help him in his quest to stay safe from dive-bombing seagulls, has put the advice into practise.

Tom Ellis, of Prestatyn, made the national headlines after he sought advice from Denbighshire County Council and the RSPB about what to do after seagulls on the roof of his bungalow started acting aggressively. This started about three weeks ago when the roof-nesting gulls had chicks.

During one particularly bad day, Tom, 29, sought advice from the local authority. Tom was trying to get out of his car but the gulls were circling low. He 'freaked out' and called the County Council and was told to put an umbrella.

Tom, who now has a large golf umbrella, has been trying the technique for about a week and admits - although he feels better protected - he also feels 'a bit daft.'

Rhyl Journal:

Tom tries to protect himself. Picture: Kerry Roberts

Tom said: "It's bonkers. Three weeks ago they got aggressive. They started dive bombing. Because it is a communal area it is affecting others but it is affecting me more than most. Now it is hell.

"I have a phobia of birds and you should see the front of my bungalow, it is a mess. I'm not trapped but it is ridiculous.

"They are living in the nest so it makes sense why they are there. I was looking for a solution but was told that nothing could be done.

"I rang the council and the RSPB. They told me they were protected [under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981] and the council told me to try an umbrella.

"They say to seagull proof your home but the spikes don't fit on this roof and we had owls.

Rhyl Journal:

A seagull looks out from Tom's roof. Picture: Kerry Roberts

"My friend gave me a leopard umbrella. I upgraded to a regular one and now I have a large golf one which I've been using for about a week.

"They still swoop around you but you feel a bit safer. They hit the umbrella but it is more protection. They can get agitated by it as it must look quite strange to them but you do feel daft. I feel like a a massive twit.

"You can't juggle shopping and the golf umbrella."

Tom has been speaking about his seagull nightmare on BBC radio breakfast live. He has also had stories on the the Metro and ITV Wales.

Tom, creator of web drama series M.E, Myself and I, added: "I couldn't go out in the gorgeous weather we have been having. They were about three-feet above my head. It is a huge inconvenience - I have to take my washing home to my parents."

Tom, has myalgic encephalomyelitis, or ME.

"This situation has tested my anxiety," he added.

"There is a deadly serious element here. My father doesn't like seagulls and can't visit and ME and seagulls don't go together. 

"My landlord has been great and has asked if there is anything else we can do but there is nothing more we can do this year.

"The birds wake me up at 4am everyday.

"It is a really messy nest, twigs all over the roof.

"Next month they should go, but the thing that worries me is that they may have seen it as a successful nesting location.

"I will have to try and break that chain and that will bring with it its own mini battle next year.

"It may get worse over the next couple of weeks as the mum and dad may attack, as they protect their young, or one of the babies could fall off the roof as they learn to fly."

A spokesman for Denbighshire County Council said: "We are aware of the problem of seagulls, which is an issue nationwide.

“We continue to work together across all council services to alleviate the problem, one example being our work to discourage residents and visitors from feeding seagulls.

"Due to a number of years of austerity, as a Council we have had to make choices about what services to protect. One of the services affected is pest control, including seagulls.

"Individuals should take responsibility for seagull proofing their own property or employ appropriate licensed companies to assist with seagull issues."