A few weeks ago I went to explore a duck-feeding spot of my childhood – Swanshurst Park in South Birmingham. It wasn’t a happy homecoming.
I found just two little mallards, cowering for cover amidst dozens and dozens of Canada Geese, with a very large flock of seagulls thrown in for good measure.
The pavement on one side of the pool was virtually impassable, unless an intrepid dog ran through dispersing all the geese. Even then the amount of goose poop around didn’t make for a welcoming thoroughfare.
How could this once idyllic place have become so dominated by geese and seagulls? The answer was all around. Bread. Everywhere. The culprits? People wandering along with carrier bags full of the stuff and literally dumping it on the ground. I saw it with my own eyes.
In today’s Birmingham Mail, a journalist rather bluntly calls for the geese to be culled. But surely the geese are only a symptom of a problem – there’s too many geese because there’s too much food?!
Even if half the geese were culled, with over-feeding so prevalent, the numbers seem likely to rocket again soon after.
So it seems time to stop over-feeding at Swanshurst? It’s people ruining the park, not the geese?