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Hebrides News


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’ crops.


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 populations.


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.”


Call to reinstate geese cull

19 Sept 2017