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Environment and animals

Geese in urban areas

York is home to approximately 500 wild geese. Flocks of Greylag and Canada geese can be found:

  • in Rowntree Park
  • along the River Ouse between Scarborough Bridge and Rowntree Park
  • on the River Foss between Yearsley Bridge and Foss Basin

And at a range of other sites:

  • Hull Road Park
  • Chapman’s Pond
  • Rawcliffe Lake
  • University of York campus
  • Wigginton Pond

Geese causing a problem

Geese can create a number of problems:

  • large amounts of droppings on paved and grass areas (making areas unwelcoming or unusable)
  • vegetation is damaged through grazing
  • children and animals may be intimidated

The severity of these issues depends in part, on personal opinion.

Tackling problems caused by geese

For the last 10 years we have been attempting to limit the number of geese in the centre of York by an annual programme of egg treatment. This is carried out in accordance with the nationally approved practice set by Natural England. Despite efforts geese numbers and associated issues have remained more or less the same. In response we commissioned an independent report on possible ways to manage geese in urban areas.

The management report was considered by the Executive council member for Leisure, Culture and Social Exclusion and it was agreed to:

  • continue with the egg treatment programme
  • install new and more prominent signs in key locations asking people not to feed the geese
  • to trial a non-lethal deterrent method such as using trained dogs to scare the geese away
  • make minor amendments to the landscape in Rowntree Park to see if a goose free area can be established

Also see

Public Realm

Eco Depot, Hazel Court, York, YO10 3DS

Telephone: 01904 551551