Managing geese

​Scotland has had a national goose policy since 2000, to help balance agricultural and conservation interests.

​Wild geese have long formed an important part of Scotland’s nature and landscapes. But growing populations can cause significant losses to farmers and crofters.

A number of local goose management schemes and pilots operate across Scotland within the framework of national goose policy. These aim to minimise agricultural losses whilst ensuring that Scotland fulfils its international nature conservation objectives.

Scottish Natural Heritage provides funding and administrative support to the schemes and pilots. Each initiative has been developed by a local goose management group, which is chaired by the Scottish Government Rural Payments and Inspections Directorate.

Goose management schemes

These help land managers to support populations of wintering geese associated with neighbouring Special Protection Areas.

Schemes are located in:

Goose management pilots

The pilots use the principle of adaptive management to help manage populations of resident greylag geese and to reduce their impacts on agriculture. These pilots run until 31st March 2017.

The adaptive management process is used to monitor changes in a population. Local Goose Management Groups then use the data to manage the population at an optimum level, to balance conservation and agricultural interests.

Pilots are located in:

  • Orkney
  • Tiree
  • the Uists
  • Lewis and Harris

Licences permit the sale of goose meat arising from the pilots. Find out about general licences for goose management pilots. The pilots come to a close in April 2017 and SNH will review the work undertaken in Summer 2017. A Challenge Fund will be available to help local Goose Management Groups in 2017.


Morag Milne
Telephone: 01738 458625
Email: [email protected]