The Western Isles joint crofting committee has called on the Scottish Government
to reinstate funding to control the explosion in the number of geese damaging crofters’
The adaptive management pilot schemes to shoot greylag geese on Uist, Lewis and Harris
as well Orkney, Tiree and Coll have ended.
It is understood the results are being analysed with the Scottish Government yet
to make decisions on how to take forward sustainable approaches to goose management.
The temporary permission for the licensed sale of goose meat has also ceased.
Cllr Donald Crichton has expressed “huge concern” by the “apparent retreat” by the
Scottish Government from funding goose management schemes.
On behalf of the crofting committee he wrote to Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham
asking her to meet and work collectively towards a solution.
Mr Crichton said: “Geese are causing severe damage to grass and crops across the
Outer Hebrides, particularly in sensitive habitats such as the Uist machair.
“This, in turn, is having a detrimental impact on crofter’s livelihoods.”
He pointed out properly funded and managed initiatives can effectively control geese
At present the only funding is through a “insufficient “ £10,000 scheme to be shared
between four areas -Coll and Tiree, the Uists, Lewis and Harris and Orkney.
This figure would not cover the costs of running a scheme in one area, let alone
the required shooting and scaring efforts required in the Western Isles he stated.
Without permits to sell goose meat and adequate funding for control measures, it
is “inevitable that the goose population will rise to the further detriment of croft
land, our communities and our already fragile local economy.”