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21 November, 2014

Strathbeg goose funding applications open

Applications for funding through the Loch of Strathbeg Goose Management Scheme 2015 open this Monday, announced the Loch of Strathbeg Local Goose Management Group (LGMG) today.

Every autumn pink-footed geese fly 800 km from their breeding grounds in Iceland to Scotland. One of the first places they land is Loch of Strathbeg Special Protection Area, where numbers can reach 50,000.

In spring, as the geese prepare for their journey back to their breeding grounds, up to 20,000 feed on grass on neighbouring farmland, delaying the turnout for livestock and reducing yields of silage. The Loch of Strathbeg Goose Management Scheme was introduced to help meet the costs owners incur by allowing the geese to graze on their land undisturbed.

Since 1994, a goose management scheme, in one form or another, has been in place at the Loch of Strathbeg. Since 2013, there has been reduced funding for all goose schemes in Scotland. Now into the final year of a three-year programme, the scheme will continue to operate under the changes implemented in 2013. The main change was a reduced scheme boundary because the fields closest to the loch have historically always attracted higher goose usage, as confirmed by monitoring results.

Speaking on behalf of the LGMG, Julia Quin of Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), scheme administrator, said:

“Six applicants were able to secure funding under the 2014 scheme. As recorded goose usage was high, we have no plans to change the scheme in 2015. We encourage all landowners within the revised scheme boundary to apply to participate in the 2015 scheme.

“The LGMG also want to acknowledge the success of the scheme over the years, and the important role played by scheme participants in conserving this internationally important species.”

Application packs will be available from the SNH Aberdeen office from Monday, 24 November, and the deadline for applications will be on Friday, 19 December. For more information, contact Julia Quin on 01738 444 177 or email



Contact SNH media officer, Vicki Mowat, on 0131 316 2659 or (Tues-Fri) or the SNH main press office on 01463 725 020 or 022 (Monday).

Notes to editors

  • Up to a fifth of the world population of pink-footed geese, visit or roost each winter at Strathbeg.
  • The Loch of Strathbeg Goose Management Scheme was first piloted between 1994 and 1997, and has continued in one form or another until present day.
  • Loch of Strathbeg Goose Management Group consists of representatives from NFUS, SGRPID, SNH, the University of Aberdeen, RSPB and Scottish Agricultural College.
  • The 2010 Review of Goose Management Policy in Scotland can be found at the following website:

Contact information

SNH Media

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