Top goose role for south Norfolk farmer

South Norfolk farmer Eddie Hegarty has been elected chairman of British Goose Producers.

A partner in the country's best known gosling hatchery Norfolk Geese, of Pulham Market, he took over from Judy Goodman at the group's annual meeting in Worcestershire.

She has been chairman for the past four years and has played a prominent role in BGP activities for more than 10 years.

Mr Hegarty, who has been vice chairman, said that she had been a 'tower of strength' who had worked tirelessly to promote the goose sector and to make its voice heard at the British Poultry Council.

John Reed, recently-elected BPC chairman, said her sound practical approach and promotional zeal at food events and the media had served the sector for many years.

The new vice chairman, John Franklin, who has been a BGP council member for many years, rears geese and a range of free range poultry at Thorncote Green, Sandy, Bedfordshire, for sale through the farm shop and 14 farmers' markets.

About 70 BGP members and guests took part in the visit which included a tour of the farm where Judy and Geoff Goodman and their sons Andrew and Mike rear about 4,200 geese and more than 4,000 free range bronze turkeys mainly for Christmas.

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Mr Hegarty presented the John Adlard Memorial Award to new goose producers, brother and sister William and Lucy Weaver, of Frampton Cotterell, Gloucestershire.

They have introduced geese this year as their own 'JollyGoose' venture on the 500-acre mixed family farm.

'We've a friend who has started producing Christmas turkeys and we thought we'd go for geese so as not to compete,' said Mr Weaver.

The award, which includes a donation of goslings and specialist support through the first year, is made annually to encourage new goose producers, commemorating the BGP founder chairman John Adlard, who led the revival of the goose sector through more than two decades until his death in 2005.

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