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Golf club criticised by locals following decision to cull Canada Geese pests

The birds foul the fairways and get in the way of players' shots

Canada goose

Canada geese foul the fairways and cause obstructions

West Essex Golf Club has instructed pest control experts to shoot increasing numbers of geese found on the greens. However this decision has drawn a furious response from local residents and some club members.

Members have been told that marksmen will mount an “aggressive campaign and try to shoot 3 or 4 on several evenings”.

The note adds: “Fingers crossed it works.”

One club member commented: “I don’t want them killed in the name of golf.”


Pest control

Said a spokesman. “Most golf courses like us do employ pest control fire arms experts.

“They have all the licences.”

Some members of West Essex Golf Club and locals have expressed concern that the humane culling guidelines won’t be met.

One said: “I certainly don’t want these birds killed in the name of golf. I love the sport – but it’s not that important. This is just a seasonal problem.”

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Geese numbers ‘horrendous’ at West Essex Golf Club

 The golf club is located in Chingford and has been a magnet for flocks of Canada geese for three years. This year their presence has been reported as being ‘horrendous’ and many members are tired of fouled fairways and geese blocking shots.

On the general licence

The Gov UK website clearly states that Canada geese (along with other pests like monk parakeets) can be caught alive or killed by the land owner or anyone authorised by the occupier or local authority in the interest of public health or public safety. Their nests can also be taken, damaged or destroyed along with the birds’ eggs.

Canada geese facts

  • Canada geese were introduced by King Charles II in 1665 to enhance St James’ Park in London
  • Canada goose droppings can carry the harmful E. Coli, Listeria and Salmonella bacteria
  • Three geese are capable of grazing the same amount daily as a full-grown sheep
  • The latest figures from BASC estimate at least 96,000 Canada geese in the UK
  • A shooter in Maryland, USA was recently knocked out by a falling, shot Canada goose and suffered the loss of two teeth and a severe head injury.