CANADA geese will be culled as they nest around Windermere this spring, it was confirmed yesterday.
After considering protests, the Windermere Geese Management Group, including the National Trust and South Lakeland District Council, decided to go ahead with the plan. Three water protection organisations are also in the group.
Their joint statement said: “The Lake District National Park is a managed landscape. The canada goose is an invasive non-native species. The large population on Windermere has a serious negative impact on the economy, the environment and pollution within the lake and on surrounding land, with the health risks associated with this.
“Negative impacts include: damage to shoreline habitats; displacement of native species; farm land spoiled; pollution of public and private recreational land; public health concerns from pathogens, bacteria and parasites.
“Culling is part of an integrated management strategy. Non-lethal control measures will continue to be used.”
Animal rights group Animal Aid announced a campaign to start an “official boycott of the Lake District” in response.
Local ornithologist Clive Hartley has resigned from the Windermere geese management body and celebrities Bill Oddie and Brian May have backed his protest
A demonstration has been organised at Bowness from noon on Saturday.
An RSPB spokesman said: “The canada goose, along with pigeons, crows and gulls, is classed as a pest and can be killed if it is causing a nuisance, or is a threat to conservation or health and safety.
“Nobody has to physically issue the landowner with a licence but if challenged, you need to be able to demonstrate you have exhausted all other available means.
“We would not advocate culling but we would not stand in the way of the exercise of a legal right. canada geese are non-native and certainly can be a problem.”
Leeds Bradford Airport had about 10 canada geese shot at Yeadon Tarn last year.