Campus News News

Nearly £16,000 spent on bird excrement

With the number of geese attacks rising, does the university spend too much on avian life?

Article Thumbnail

Image Credit: US Air Force/ Heide Couch

A RECENT FREEDOM of information request has revealed that on average the University spends an estimated £15 959.09 per year on cleaning up bird excrement on Heslington East and West.
Bird excrement has long been a problem at the University, with the bird life being allowed free rein across campus, causing mess on the pavements and polluting the lake water.

A single goose can produce up to three pounds of faecal matter every day so while this high spending figure may seem warranted, this is on top of the money spent on feeding the bird life around campus with last years figures reaching £102. The aquatic wildlife on campus has always been an integral part of the University with the installation of Europe’s largest plastic-bottomed filled lake in 1968 being constructed in order to provide the University with a distinct image as well as a drainage basin.

The ducks and geese on campus have long received extra attention from students with one duck having its own social media but they still remain a source of controversy for students. In particular, several students have experienced problems with the geese on campus due to their sometimes aggressive nature and recent reports show that there have been 11 goose attacks on students so far this year.This figure has nearly doubled from the previous year and figures from the past five years show that on average, staff are forced to attend approximately eight goose related incidents per year.

Geese are territorial birds who can become hostile during their breeding sea-son in spring if they feel their nests are threatened, and while the grey goose is more common around campus, it is the Canada goose that can prove to be the more violent. Most injuries from goose attacks are minor and are mainly caused by the victim falling down as they attempt to escape the attacking birds.

Despite this many students enjoy the wild-life presence on campus with social media ac-counts such as University of York Gardens tracking the wildlife

Latest in Campus News