You don’t exactly have to be eagle-eyed to notice that there has been a major change in the park recently! A few of our website regulars have been in touch recently to ask us about this:
Well, some of you may have seen the existing notice in the park about health hazards associated with geese. Quite apart from the more well-known common hazards that most of us associate with geese – such as their general anti-social manner, penchant for stealing sandwiches and terrorising small children 🙂 there is unfortunately another more serious threat to us all posed by park waterfowl.
Over time geese have slowly colonised the park cricket out field and the picnic/play area. This is problematic because unfortunately geese inevitably lead to geese droppings and goose poo is sadly a major public health hazard on a par with and directly comparable to dog poo. Pathogens present in goose poo include the parasites cryptosporidium, giardia, coliform, and campylobacter – all of which can potentially cause serious illness.
In some other places park and wildlife services seeking to manage this problem have resorted to harsh measures such as loud noises, disrupting nests and culling to manage the native waterfowl population. I am sure you will agree none of us would want to see that in Roberts Park. So this barrier has been proposed instead as a kinder, nicer, gentler alternative, and as a passive deterrent. Whilst you might expect that a mere three-foot high floppy plastic barrier would pose no real obstacle to birds that routinely fly hundreds of kilometres to migrate on a yearly basis the consensus so far is that it is working, and that yes, they are actually just too lazy to walk around it.
Whilst the barrier is clearly rough and ready in its current form, please keep in mind that the current implementation is only a prototype. Once it has been established that the barrier is definitely working then there are plans in the future to get something more long-term and much more in keeping with the park’s heritage status and Victorian splendour.
Over and out.
The Friends of Roberts Park