Anyone living on Liskey Hill Crescent in Perranporth, Cornwall, will have to collect their letters from the nearest Post Office, because Royal Mail employees have refused to deliver post to the street any more. Its excuse is the seagulls - which dive-bomb any passing pedestrians.
But how much trouble can a seagull really be, and can Royal Mail get away with this?
The Royal Mail told the Daily Telegraph that this isn't just a few 'scary' birds. The gulls have actually injured a postwoman trying to deliver post, after they pecked at her head. They say that there are genuine health and safety concerns, so they have had to suspend deliveries.
The gulls are apparently protecting their chicks, and have grown increasingly aggressive over the past few weeks. The residents agree they are a pest, and one told This Is Cornwall that they particularly attack those wearing red, which is a problem for Royal Mail Staff. Red is thought to be a target because adult gulls have a splash of red at the base of their beak, which the young are encouraged to peck when the adult holds out food.
However, the residents highlight that they are now getting attacked on their way to pick up the post - and suggest that the solution is some kind of intervention by the council rather than cutting them off from the post.
However, Royal Mail is perfectly within its rights. It has the power to suspend deliveries where it believes the safety of its employees is at risk - or where there has been an incident where a member of staff has been threatened. It can introduce a temporary suspension - or refuse to deliver completely. Typically at any moment in time, it has decreed 0.1% of homes in the UK to be out of bounds.
In fact last June it stopped deliveries to some homes in Muirfield Road in New Elgin as nesting seagulls were attacking a post woman trying to deliver to the properties. It resumed deliveries a few weeks later. The same fate befell the residents of one street in Bexhill-On Sea in Sussex in 2010.
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Royal Mail refuses to deliver because of seagulls
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And it's not just the gulls. All kinds of animals can fall foul of the postie. At the end of last year the Royal Mail stopped deliveries to one road in Chippenham because a flea infestation threatened the postman. Then in February this year it decreed an estate in Little Hulton out of bounds, because an aggressive dog was being around to roam the streets.
The garden can be your downfall too. One 82-year-old in West Yorkshire was told in November last year that deliveries would be permanently suspended in wet weather because the path to her property was too slippy. And a couple of years ago a retired banker from Bury St Edmunds had his deliveries suspended because his garden was overgrown.
It's a wonder that many of us can make it down the garden path in one piece - let alone all the way to the post office to collect the post.
Top Ten Weirdest Holiday Home Insurance Claims
Royal Mail refuses to deliver because of seagulls
The owner of a holiday home in Spain returned to inspect his property after he had let it to a group of young people in their 20s for two weeks, to find that they had created an indoor beach including sand and water to emulate the sea. The youngsters explained that the local beach “hadn’t lived up to their expectations”.
A slightly oblivious swan didn’t see what was coming his way. It was flying happily through the air, completely unaware of a set of high voltage power cables in its flight path which it duly hit. The swan had the shock of its life and dived straight for the roof of a holiday home underneath, crashing through the roof and leaving a massive hole in need of fixing.
At a holiday home in France, a cow walked over a swimming pool cover. As the cow was considerably heavier than the cover could hold, the cover broke and the unsuspecting cow took an involuntary dip in the pool; resulting in considerable damage to the pool and the need for a winch to rescue the distraught bovine.
Holiday guests staying in a Spanish property moved items of furniture from inside the holiday home they were renting, including a sofa, single bed and chest of drawers, into the shallow end of the swimming pool. The guests had been under the influence of alcohol when they’d decided to rearrange the furniture in such a way and claimed they "couldn’t remember" why they had done it.
A particularly passionate couple managed to not only badly scratch the wooden floor of their bedroom by causing the bed to move vehemently, but also caused the bed to break, as well as the bedside lamp and bedside table. The couple explained that all damage had been caused during one session of lovemaking and they apologised profusely.
Following a rental, a holiday home owner made a gory discovery; he found blood splattered all over carpets and walls. After further investigation, he discovered a makeshift cardboard coffin containing a pig’s head in the bin, suggesting that a sacrifice had taken place at his property.
A young couple tried to pursue a claim against the owner of their holiday apartment in Spain on the basis that both bed sheets and towels were "too hard" and caused scratches and irritations on the skin, which prevented them from using the pool and sunbathing comfortably.
A holiday cottage in Devon needed completely redecorating after the holiday guests had decided to have an indoor barbecue on the flagstone floor, as ‘the weather didn’t allow for having it outside’.
One unsuspecting holiday property owner in Italy was shocked to find out that his house had been turned into a brothel by his guests during a four week rental period, resulting in the need for a deep clean and replacement of soft furnishings.
A lady in her late 30s from Manchester sought compensation from the owner of her holiday home in Marbella as the gravel on the driveway "had wrecked" four pairs of her designer stilettos and forced her to replace them with new ones.