SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, welcomed increased funding from NatureScot for greylag goose management.

Several local goose management groups in the Western Isles will benefit from a significant rise in funding towards cull schemes aimed at controlling greylag goose population sizes in crofting areas. Geese can cause agricultural damage to crops and pasture land through feeding, trampling and fouling.

The local management group in Uist and Barra was awarded £20,000 in January 2024, representing a dramatic increase on the £7,500 provided in 2022/2023. £19,000 will be spent on culling greylag geese with £1,000 earmarked for population modelling.

Around 8,000 greylag geese have been counted in Uist over the past few years. The new funding will allow a cull scheme to reduce the population by a target number of 2,735 birds. An additional 1,200 greylags are also shot annually by gamekeepers employed by Stòras Uibhist, the community landlord in South Uist, and the landlord also makes funding directly available to township committees on the estate for goose scaring equipment and activities.

NatureScot recently completed a 5-year review into national goose policy. A formal goose management policy has been in place in Scotland since 1999.

Commenting, Alasdair Allan said:

“The significant increase in funding is very encouraging, and local management groups have indicated their confidence that it will allow them to reduce the greylag population to a much more manageable size in a matter of years.

“The support demonstrates the Scottish Government’s commitment to crofting by responding to calls for additional funding for culling schemes following a worrying upsurge in bird numbers. Not only will this assist groups in managing numbers, it will help in safeguarding machair biodiversity and traditional agriculture in areas like the Western Isles.”



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