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Council spend £5k to move some wild geese

Council spend £5k to move some wild geese

Pictured is the fenced off Castle field along with fake geese.

A council has blown almost £5,000 of taxpayers' money on a bird-brained scheme to move some geese Ð but it's failed because they prefer their own choice.

In October Portsmouth City Council fenced off a field and installed fake geese, devices that emit geese calls and SIGNAGE in an attempt to attract them to it.

But the migrating birds have ignored the council's chosen site Castle Field and have instead flocked to a pitch and putt down the road.

The council says it had a legal requirement to find a new site for the birds while sea defence works take place over the next five years.

A Portsmouth City Council spokesperson said: "As part of the Southsea Coastal Scheme, we are using the MoD field as a compound area. This site was previously inhabited by Brent Geese so we are legally obliged to provide an alternative site in the near vicinity.

"Castle Field was identified as the most appropriate site for the refuge area, in conjunction with Natural England.

"We monitor the Castle Field site weekly and will continue to do so throughout winter, sharing our findings with Natural England.

"We are aware of Brent Geese on the cricket field, however, it must be noted that they tend to move between several sites in Portsmouth and have used Castle Field previously.Ó

Bill Branson, owner of the Tenth Hole tea rooms which runs the pitch and putt said: "The geese don't stop the golfers. If people are playing golf they generally fly on to the cricket pitch until the golf is finished."

Local took to Facebook to mock the council's scheme. Gee Olford wrote: "How many Brent geese can read signs telling them it's their field?" Dave Prichard said the geese "couldnÕt give a flock!"

Julian Blackburn said: "What a waste of money. I walk past this most days, the only geese I have seen, haven't moved for weeks...because they're the fake ones!"

The scheme takes place during the winter months from October to March until the completion of the £100 million Southsea coastal defence project in 2026. Castle Field is a popular location for events and people use the grassed area to shelter from the sea breeze to exercise and walk their dogs.

Picture credit: Paul Jacobs/
Story Credit: Steve Clark

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