On Beauty, War, Remembrance and… Geese

David Rowsell, Trustee Friends of Rowntree Park

I love Rowntree Park and in particular its lake…

But why at 6.30am on a cold December morning late in 2020 do I find myself flat on my back in its freezing water…?

The answer is flipping geese… in particular Canada geese.

For over three years now I have been volunteering in the park – mainly trying to move on varying numbers of these beasts.

I have nothing against animals, indeed I have, since 2019, been a vegetarian.

I am, however, a keen historian and our park is not only beautiful but a fitting memorial to the many local victims of the First World War.

As such, I’d like to think that as many as possible visit and spare a moment to consider the horror and senselessness of what happened to so many between 1914-18 and is still happening in too many places around our world.

“Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows…” 

(Martin Luther King)

When my wife and I moved into this area, it was clear that the geese were responsible for many people steering clear of the park – the noise, the aggression and the poo of these beasts is, understandably, a massive turn off for many families especially with young children.

I shouldn’t really know this – but these birds drop 3lbs of poo each per day and when you consider that in the past there have been up to 100 geese in the park at times, that is a huge pile!

So, our valiant team of “goosebusters” work night and day, in a humane way, to persuade the geese to find somewhere else to poo.

These last few months our work has been hindered by floods and Covid – but we will continue to strive to keep our park clean for the benefit of all.

Even if it does mean that occasionally I get over enthusiastic and my chase leads me to end up in the drink!

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