Geese – good or bad

Northumberland and Beyond

On a beautifully clear, crisp morning I went on a farm visit with a bird expert from the RSPB to look for wintering geese.  I am contracted by the farmer to produce a Farm Environment Plan (FEP) for his land so that he can gain entry into an Agri-environment scheme.  As a farmer he has problems with large flocks of migrating geese eating the grass of his hay fields in the Spring when he needs the grass for his heavily pregnant ewes.  The geese are also a problem in August and September when he needs the grass for fattening his ewes and tups (rams) to see them through the winter and into the start of the next breeding season, which starts in November.

On the plus side the geese fertilise his fields.  This is not good news for Grindon Lough, into which these fields drain.  The lough is a Northumberland Wildlife…

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