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Monday, March 30, 2009

Gulls Eggs for breakfast?

I didn't realise until I read this that some of London's top restaurants serve Black-Headed Gull Eggs.

The eggs can cost over £5 each and 40,000 a year are sold. They are sold to restaurants like The Ivy, gentleman's clubs like White's as well as Harrod's and Fortnum's and Masons.

Only 25 people have a licence to collect the eggs and all of these are over retirement age and Natural England are unlikely to allocate further licences (you have to have a "natural claim"), so the industry may well disappear. The collection season runs 1st April to 15th May.

There are an estimated 83,000 pairs in England but the population has declined by up to 49 per cent in the past 25 years and the Black Headed Gull is now an Amber rated species.

You can read comment from the RSPB, Natural England and the manager of the Restaurant Le Gavroche.

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