Wildfowl is a fresh, seasonal wild food that’s low in fat and high in taste.
Many of the species that can be legally shot in Scotland come from other countries to spend the winter here. Wildfowl hunting takes place mainly at dawn and dusk on estuaries and coastal marshes during the winter months.
See the British Association for Shooting and Conservation list of quarry species and shooting seasons here.
Sale of resident greylag goose meat
To help farmers and crofters whose crops were being damaged by a rapidly rising goose population, pilot studies were run in communities in Tiree, Coll, Uist, Lewis, Harris and Orkney. The aim of the pilots was to reduce goose impacts by managing their resident greylag goose populations and by selling this goose meat locally.
On the western Isles, greylag geese are part of the ecology of the islands and contribute towards our distinctive natural heritage. However the resident population has continued to increase over the years causing agricultural damage. This has presented some challenges for crofters trying to maintain a viable goose population which can be managed sustainably to minimise agricultural damage while generating some income for local people.
The Greylag Goose Adaptive Management Pilots on the islands of Uist, Lewis Harris, Tiree and Coll encourage a sustainable harvest of geese. NatureScot has licenced the sale of wild goose meat that has been harvested under this supervised scheme. Sale of these birds is only via licenced shooters, with birds being shot and sold, locally on Uist, Lewis and Harris and from the summer of 2015, on Coll and Tiree.
These tightly controlled licences allow local businesses to sell and prepare, wild goose meat bought from licenced shooters, trained in the hygiene requirements. This will help stop these geese going to waste and will also generate income for the local community.
Goose meat is a good healthy source of protein and is very tasty if cooked properly. So go ahead, try some of these tasty recipes and be part of the eat fresh, eat seasonal and eat local campaign.
The pilot project on the Western Isles have been developed and managed in conjunction with the Local Goose Management Group (LGMG), including the local crofters, estates and shooting tenants, Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) Comhairle na Eilean Siar (CNES), Scottish Government Rural Payments & Inspections Directorate (SGRPID) and NatureScot.
In Orkney the project has been developed and managed in conjunction with the Local Goose Management Group (LGMG) which includes National Farmers Union of Scotland (NFUS); RSPB Scotland; Scottish Government Rural Payments & Inspections Directorate (SGRPID); Scotland’s Rural College, and local farmers.
The open season for certain duck and goose species is a chance to eat seasonal wild food. Wildfowl is a fresh, seasonal wild food that’s low in fat and high in taste.