Where have all the geese gone in Beyton?

Geese on Beyton village green last year
Geese on Beyton village green last year
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Since time immemorial a gaggle of geese has lived on Beyton green – so iconic are they to the village that they even feature on its sign.

But now residents have been asked if they want the birds to stay.

Beyton Parish Council has carried out a survey of every household in the village after resident Sandy Maynard, told a meeting last month that the number of geese was dwindling and most villagers did not want them to stay.

She said she had carried out her own poll which she said showed 88 per cent of people were against the parish council replenishing the goose population.

Mrs Maynard said goo se numbers had fallen because of road accidents, or they had been victims of predators – in one case a goose had to be put down after being attacked by a dog.

It is believed that goose numbers once peaked at about 30 – now there is just one goose and her four goslings left.

Pat Lamb, clerk to Beyton Parish Council said: “Mrs Maynard suggested we didn’t continue with our goose population.

“She had undertaken an informal straw poll.

“The parish council decided to carry out its own survey.

“We have now surveyed every resident in the village but the results were only collected on Friday.

“They will now be analysed and the outcome will be reported to the parish council, probably at its next meeting on November 25, to see where we go with this for the future.

“It is quite an emotive subject for residents. The geese have been in Beyton since time immemorial.

“There is quite a strong feeling in the village that the geese should remain.”

In the past the village has been so proud of its geese that it withdrew from a best kept village competition.

It won the title in 1974 but when Beyton tried to repeat its success, judges criticised its geese, labelling their droppings detrimental to the village.

This resulted in the judges, and not the geese, being excluded from the village.

In April, new speed indicator signs were put up in an effort to slow traffic and reduce the number of geese being run over.

Cllr Derrick Haley, Mid Suffolk district councillor for Beyton, said: “I think the geese have always been part and parcel of Beyton.

“I can see both sides of the argument.

“It is up to the people of Beyton to decide but personally I think it would be a shame to lose them.

“They have been there so long – but it’s not down to me.”