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Beyton: The future of village’s geese is questioned due to concerns for their safety

13:23 15 April 2013

Geese in Beyton - the village is known for its geese, but numbers are dwindling after a couple were taken out on the roads

Geese in Beyton - the village is known for its geese, but numbers are dwindling after a couple were taken out on the roads

Archant

A PICTURESQUE village is facing the biggest dilemma in its history.

For decades the peaceful village green in Beyton has been home to geese - at one time as many as 30 are thought to have lived there.

But now after several recent road “tragedies” only four remain and one villager has even raised an almost unthinkable question: “Should the Beyton geese be banished?”

Sandy - who has asked her surname is not printed in case her suggestions cause alarm, dismay and anger in the village - thinks the time may have come to say goodbye.

“I just think everyone needs to think and decide,” she said. “The main thing is they would be fine if people would slow down on the roads. My husband and I are on the local Speedwatch scheme and are trying to figure out more things we can do to get people to slow down.”

But other villagers have reacted angrily to suggestions that the beloved geese could be shown the door.

Chairman of the parish council, Ian Shipley, said: “The geese have now been a symbol of the village for many years. Yes, we have lost a couple of the geese, but the geese that are there walking around free is a wonderful thing.

“Yes, we do get people unfortunately driving through the village at times too quickly, which tends to be people that pass through rather than belonging to the village.”

He said at a recent meeting it was decided unanimously “the geese are a fundamental part of Beyton and we should continue to have geese in our village,” adding at a public meeting some years ago people expressed the same view.

Roger Wyartt, from the village and who would like to see the geese stay, said it was “very rare” for a goose to die in a road accident - even when the main road used to go through Beyton.

Barry Waterman, who has been landlord of the White Horse pub for 28 years, said the geese rule the roost.

“They run it. They go where they want. We stop when they cross the road. It’s their village.”

He said it would not be the same without them, adding “the sooner we get more back the better”.

Plans for a speed activated displays and signs to warn drivers of the geese are among plans being put forward.

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