Council votes to cull Canada Geese at Lydney Lake

  • Published
Image caption,
The cull aims to reduce the geese population by 60% of its current number

A council has approved plans to cull Canada Geese at a local beauty spot.

Lydney Town Council voted 10-3 to reduce the number of birds at Lydney Boating Lake because their droppings caused disruption for sports clubs.

Councillor Steve Stockham suggested perhaps rewilding the area should be explored instead of killing the geese that would also reduce bird numbers.

Others who voted for it said it was a "hard" decision but they felt they had a "duty" to their tenant sport clubs.

Image caption,
Steve Stockham argued against the cull

Lydney Recreation Trust, of which Lydney Town Council is the sole trustee, said its tenants, including a tennis, football, rugby and cricket club, had had to cancel matches because of the bird mess.

As many as 150 geese have been known to visit the lake at any one time.

Councillor Carol Harris, one of the recreation trustees said: "The clubs have had to cancel quite a number of matches because opposing teams arrive, they see the state of the pitches and refuse to play.

"It is revenue that the clubs are losing out on.

"We have a duty of care as a trust to enable our tenants to pursue the sporting activities that they pay their lease for."

Image caption,
Councillor Carol Harris said it was the hardest vote she had decided upon in her 14 years on the council

Ms Harris said members of the public had also complained about the birds being territorial.

She said while not every alternative had been explored a decision was needed.

"It was the hardest vote I've ever had on council in 14 years," she added.

The trust said goose droppings were also poisoning the lake by increasing nitrogen levels and fish numbers had decreased noticeably.

Other wildlife species were also being driven out.

Mr Stockham said rewilding the grass around the lake would stop so many geese from choosing the habitat because they would not eat the long grass.

He suggested fencing off the islands on the lake to discourage so many nests, and asking people to stop feeding the birds to help reduce their number.

He said: "Unfortunately the town council trust board decided they wanted to go ahead with the cull and I think that has been done without enough consideration for the alternatives.

"The main alternative is to alter the habitat, we have the perfect habitat for geese here, all man made, and there is no reason why we shouldn't go back and alter it."

Under the approved plans the cull aims to reduce the number of birds by 60%.

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