Unused brent geese refuge on Castle Field in Southsea is removed

A CITY refuge for endangered birds that went unused over the winter has been dismantled.

Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 11:24 am
Updated Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 12:32 pm
Portsmouth City Council setting up fake geese on Castle Field to encourage Brent Geese to use the field as a refuge on 12 October 2020. Picture: Habibur Rahman

The fences around Castle Field in Southsea that were set up as a sanctuary for migratory brent geese in October, have been taken down allowing residents to use the field again.

And decoy geese that failed to attract the birds to the site have also been removed.

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The brent geese sanctuary and decoy birds that were set up in Castle Field. Pictured on November 30. Picture: Fiona Callingham

It was planned returning geese would use the spot as a haven after nearby Clarence Playing Field - which the birds used to visit - was taken over by the Southsea sea defence scheme.

However, the birds never used the site and were instead spotted on other areas of Southsea Common as well as the Tenth Hole golf course and its neighbouring cricket field.

A Portsmouth City Council spokeswoman said: ‘The decision to fence Castle Field was undertaken with Natural England and the location was selected as the best option from a range of sites.

The Brent geese refuge in Castle Field, in Southsea, has now been removed. Pictured 29 March 2021

‘We were legally required to provide an area for the brent geese because a compound for the Southsea Coastal Scheme had been built on the Clarence Playing Field in Southsea - an area previously used by the overwintering birds.’

It was originally planned the refuge would be in place until March when the geese typically leave Portsmouth, and would be set up every winter until the sea defences are complete.

However, it will be reviewed before next winter.

The spokeswoman added: ‘Discussions will be held with Natural England prior to the next season for the overwintering birds. A decision will then be made on our future use of Castle Field as a brent geese refuge.’

The Brent geese at the Tenth Hole Golf Course, Southsea, on Monday, November 30. Picture: Fiona Callingham

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