LOCALS were relieved to hear that geese at Lydney Lake would not be culled after all, with councillors deciding instead to pursue a “non-lethal” approach to controlling their numbers.

But the way the issue was handled led two councillors to resign last week, accusing their fellow trustees of “failing to act responsibly and uphold the level of integrity expected of them.”

The Lydney Recreation Trust, of which Lydney Town Council is the sole trustee, had approved plans at a meeting in July to “drastically” reduce the number of Canada geese at the lake by employing a pest control firm to cull them.

But, after the firm completed another site visit in recent weeks, it was found that most of the geese had “temporarily” moved on.

The firm then advised the trust that using a conservation approach to deter the geese from returning in such high numbers would be most effective, having initially recommended a cull.

Councillors voted unanimously to accept a new subsidiary report from the firm, Ecolab, following an “in-depth” question and answer session with the company at an extraordinary meeting last Tuesday (August 9).

A statement from the trust on Wednesday (August 10) said: “The company will be regularly monitoring the water quality and all other wildlife in a study to show the work they are undertaking is having a positive effect on the lake and recreation trust area.

“Findings will allow the trustees to change and modify management accordingly.

“With less Canada Geese the amount of faeces will naturally reduce and the Trustees will continue to have ongoing discussions relating to introducing further measures on how to deter the Canada Geese from feeding on the sports pitches.”

The statement added that the feeding of geese is a practice that must stop “immediately” if the new approach is to be successful.

It continued: “At the next relevant meeting the trustees will decide on the action needed to enforce and correct this behaviour as it is not only bad for the geese but it directly contributes to the amount of faeces present”.

Despite the decision, Councillors Steve Stockham and Louise Penny - two of the three councillors who voted against the cull - have resigned over the trust’s “mismanagement“ of the issue.

The former councillors say they feel the trust “let down” Lydney residents by presenting only one option to control geese numbers, which was voted for by seven councillors.

They say they presented other options to a cull which were “not accepted” by other members.

A joint statement from the former councillors said: “It is with regret that we have felt the need to resign, but neither of us have any confidence in this council’s decision making process any longer”.

Lydney Mayor Cllr Tasha Saunders said she woke up to death threat messages in the middle of the night following the approval of the cull last month.

Many took to social media to voice their opposition to the plan after the vote, with some labelling it “disgusting” and “heartless”.

A petition to save the geese was started by the local community and was signed by almost 1,000 people.