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Goose mess at it’s Worst!

Written by: drobs

2 July 2013 93,848 views No Comment

Walkers using the towpath along the River Thames fear their health could be at risk because of the excessive fouling of geese.Several complaints have been made at meetings of the Lower Caversham neighbourhood action group (NAG) over the past year about the amount of droppings left by the birds.

Caversham councillor Richard Davies promised to investigate the problem and approach Reading Borough Council’s parks department to see what can be done. He said: “It’s a difficult issue. Everywhere you are going to get wildlife and get droppings, but you have to balance that along with the public use of the path.

“Over the years there have been complaints, but more recently more people have started bring it up at NAG meetings, and we are now getting to the stage where we need to do something about it.” Cllr Davies said the worst of the problem tended to be along the riverbank near to Caversham Bridge, a popular walk for families heading to Christchurch Meadows.

The problem was raised in July last year when one observer claimed that the number of Canadian geese and other breeds outnumbered swans by 20 to one. They said: “In past times the only mess you had from swans was the feathers on the bank, now the grass and paths near the bridge are covered in excrement from these geese to the point that it is nigh-on impossible to walk without stepping in it.”  The author suggested there should be massive cull and monitoring of breeding.

The swans are aggressive and make it very difficult for families to feed the ducks without being overrun by the geese. They have no fear and will chase and hiss at you. Advice is to try not to feed the geese as this encourages them to chase humans for food.
The council plans to revamp the meadows with proposals including a café, high ropes adventure course, a mini golf course and waterside activity centre.

After talking with council officers, Cllr Davies said yesterday the plan is to clean the towpath more often, but long term the options are limited and the council wants to avoid a cull.

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