An elderly couple were held hostage in their seaside home by nesting seagulls for six days.

Roy and Brenda Pickard were unable to get out of their front door for almost a week after two seagull chicks slipped on to the canopy above the door.

Every time Mr Pickard tried to leave his home, he was confronted by two squawking adult seagulls.

At one point, the 77-year-old was hit so hard on the top of the head by one angry bird, he had to be taken to hospital.

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Eventually, a local business built a gazebo outside the couple's front door to protect them from further attacks.

Mr Pickard, from Knott End, Lancashire, said: "The whole thing has been terrible.

"I've not been able to go out of the front door. If I try to get out of the door, the two adult birds are right there and I've got no chance. It's genuinely frightening.

"My wife isn't well or very mobile at the moment so we're relying on me to get out.

"Thankfully, we have an integrated garage and I can get into it from the kitchen, open the garage door and drive out to get our shopping, but I have to leave the garage door open, which isn't ideal."

The retired ambulance worker added: "If that bird had hit me in the face instead of the back of the head, I dread to think how seriously injured I would have been.

"I had to go to Royal Lancaster Infirmary to get treatment but thankfully I could get in the car."

Frustratingly for the Pickards, Wyre Council said the birds were herring gulls and are protected when they are nesting.

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Mr Pickard also phoned the RSPCA, the RSPB and his local radio station after the siege started a week ago.

BBC Radio Lancashire arranged for the gazebo to be set up to provide some temporary relief.

Mr Pickard said: "The RSPCA and RSPB have been no help whatsoever they seem to put the rights of these birds above those of people, which is ridiculous. The public pays donations to keep these organisations going and this is what you get."

"Wyre Council sent a man down and he took a photo, and then they seemed to tell me they would bring someone else around with an umbrella to protect us."

But they don't seem to be able to do anything about the birds and these chicks could be there until the end of July.

"Why are seagulls protected? They are not an endangered species, they're a flaming nuisance."

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A council spokesman said: "We sympathise with Mr Pickard's situation seagulls can be troublesome, particularly when nesting. We have visited Mr Pickard to assess the situation and have given him advice."

"The gulls in question are herring gulls and they are protected once nesting, so there are limited solutions available. We advise residents who have a problem with seagulls to bird-proof their properties prior to the breeding season."