Goose droppings are ‘absolutely everywhere’ on streets in Maiden Erlegh during the summer – with gardens and pavements 'inundated' with poo, councillors have been told.

However, Earley Town Council says it’s not its job to clean the streets – and is at a loss as to what to do with the geese.

Neighbours near Maiden Erlegh Nature Reserve noticed several more geese than usual were wandering further from the lake last summer. They complained the visitors were leaving droppings all over their paths and gardens – posing a health risk to children playing outside.

Now their residents’ association has asked Earley Town Council to help clean up. Secretary Steve Feltham told councillors his members complained last summer that ‘front lawns and pavements were becoming inundated’ with droppings.

He said: “Many of our residents and visitors to the lake are pleased to see the geese touring the estate with their young, but this does become a nuisance as the season wears on and the amount of goose droppings increases substantially.

“Anyone walking around the Lakeside, Silverdale Road area during the months of May, June, July and August can hardly fail to notice it. It is absolutely everywhere.”

Mr Feltham said there was ‘no appetite’ among residents for a cull. He noted that oiling some goose eggs to prevent them from hatching had been suggested as ‘one option.’ But Earley Town Council rejected this idea last year.

Yet the town council also says it doesn’t have the resources for street cleaning, which is Wokingham Borough Council’s job. And it says that as the geese are wild it can do little to control them.

Town clerk Jo Friend said cleaning up after the geese is ‘too big an ask for a town council.’

She said: “We don't have a staff member who could go out regularly to clean pavements. We’d have to get permission from Wokingham Borough Council.

“Do we clean up pigeon poo, what about dog poo? It’s just not practical and it’s actually not the town council’s job to do that because they’re not our geese, it’s not our pavement.”

Ms Friend added that Wokingham Borough Council could be asked to put more resources towards street cleaning in Maiden Erlegh during the summer. But she warned this would be unlikely, as the borough council’s finances are squeezed.

Town councillors have been told Canada geese are likely wandering further from the lake due to an aggressive new pair of wild swans who attack adult birds.

The geese may also be wandering further in search of shorter grass to eat, which is why they are attracted to front lawns.

But the councillors are wary of doing anything to try and influence the geese that might have unforeseen consequences for wildlife on the lake.

Members of Earley Town Council’s amenities and leisure committee agreed on Wednesday, March 6, to seek expert advice. They said in the meantime residents could put up temporary fences along their lawns, and be discouraged from feeding the geese.