Bid to remove geese from Diss Mere

Diss Mere has provided a home for many species of birds, including geese.

Diss Mere has provided a home for many species of birds, including geese. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

The wildlife residing around Diss Mere has long been an attraction for families with children who visit to feed the ducks and birds and relax in the tranquil setting.

EDP Norfolk Magazine. June. My Favourite View - Diss Mere from the Town Council Office car park.

EDP Norfolk Magazine. June. My Favourite View - Diss Mere from the Town Council Office car park. - Credit: Angela Sharpe

But now concerns have arisen the mere's life may be becoming a little too 'wild' thanks to an additional gaggle of geese that have been placed there by a mystery person, causing worries they could potentially endanger young children visiting to feed the ducks.

Now Diss Town Council is hoping to rehome the eight geese, which have been present at the mere for the last year and is discussing options with the RSPCA and Diss resident Graham Smith, who has offered to place the birds with an existing gaggle at his aunt's farm.

An attempt was made to catch the geese on Monday (October 13), but this had to be abandoned due to poor weather conditions and difficulties with securing all the geese.

The council decided to act because of the potential risk to public safety, though it had not received any complaints about the geese.


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Consultation also took place with the RSPB and RSPCA, which agreed that because of possible risks to the public and because the birds did not originate from the mere, it would be appropriate for the birds to be rehomed in a more natural environment.

The town's mayor Keith Kiddie said: 'The council simply wants what's best for the community and visitors who enjoy the mere and park while ensuring the welfare of these geese.'

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However, the move has sparked concerns among residents about the welfare of the geese and the loss of an attraction for children.

Diss resident Heather Heslop said: 'It is such a terrible thing to remove them off the mere where children love them and have their photos taken with them.'

She added: 'They are doing no harm down there, they are absolutely gorgeous and people go down there and feed them, but they won't harm people unless they attack them.'

However, she pledged to work with the council to ensure the birds would be moved to a home where their best interests would be paramount.

Mr Smith said: 'These domestic geese will be very well cared for on our farm. We have around 14 geese at the moment, one of which is 25 years old. Geese are communal creatures and like company.'

An RSPCA spokesman said: 'We are not sure about the origin of the geese. They may have been dumped or may have flown there as it is not uncommon to find domestic geese like this living in the wild - they can survive quite well. Whichever the case, we did not have any welfare concerns with them living there.'

She said the RSPCA had been advising the council on the fact they needed to make sure the geese's welfare was catered for in their new home and they were being properly cared for.

What do you think of the decision to move the geese? Email dominic.bareham@archant.co.uk.

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