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Payments for goose management schemes

Scottish Natural Heritage offers goose management scheme participants a payment in return for providing the agreed management.

We administer goose management schemes, monitor their outcomes and progress, and consult with and seek input from various local and national stakeholders.

Length of management agreement

All of our goose management schemes run for a period of four winters, from 2017/18 to 2020/2021. Participants of the Strathbeg enter into management agreements for one year at a time only, however.

This allows a flexible response to goose movements and crop rotations. For example, a land parcel can be entered into a scheme one year and not the next. Or land may be entered into a feeding zone one year and a buffer zone the next.

One-year management agreements will be extended or renewed by mutual agreement where the land is eligible to enter the scheme for a further year.

Payment frequency

Goose management takes place in the winter months to support migratory geese in:

Payments to support these schemes are made in November and in March, as shown in the table below. The payment is split equally between the two payment dates.

At Loch of Strathbeg, we support goose management in the spring, when conflict with agricultural production is most acute. We make a single payment to participants in May/June.

View the Payment scheme for management agreements table

Payment rates

Payments reflect local farming practice and the impact of geese at each location.

We calculate payments that support the provision of grassland for feeding zones and buffer zones using both the:

  • additional cost of providing these habitats for geese
  • profit foregone when geese consume these crops

View the Table of payment rates for scheme participants

Solway, South Walls and Loch of Strathbeg scheme participants will receive the payments shown in this table, provided you meet the scheme’s management requirements.

Islay and Kintyre scheme participants receive the same payment rates on a pro rata basis, according to how many geese are supported during the current goose season.

Eligibility criteria

Agricultural land is eligible to enter our goose management schemes. Land that is not eligible to enter the Scottish Government's 'Basic Payment Scheme' is not eligible to enter our goose management schemes. Leaseholders are eligible to participate if the lease runs for at least one full year.

To select suitable fields, we use eligibility criteria based on:

  • ‘goose use’ or goose distribution across the scheme fields
  • crop type
  • crop condition
  • expert judgement

Eligible fields are chosen from within areas of highest goose use. We identify these high ‘goose-use’ zones using historical goose count data. To see the zones with the highest average intensity of goose use, view the interactive map of goose schemes.

To claim payment for a goose management scheme option, it must be compatible with the requirements of other funding received for the same piece of land.

Find out about compatibility checks for goose management schemes.