CANADA geese have been causing misery for a Finsthwaite farming couple, who are supporting the proposed cull of 200 by the Lake District National Park Authority.

Around 150 of the birds have been eating grass ‘to the ground’ as well as the feed put out for sheep at John and Ruth Hesketh’s farm.

The couple have been forced to halve the number of sheep brought in this year compared to 2011 because of a lack of food for them to eat.

They said the sheer volume of the geese’s droppings had also led to some lambs dying from salmonella when they ingested it.

Mr and Mrs Hesketh have owned the 55-acre site for 25 years, and they say problems they have experienced over the past year have worsened because of the growing numbers of Canada geese.

The birds have also been able to chase the lambs away from food because of their bigger size.

“We’re as much conservationists as anyone else and we don’t want to see these birds shot, but we can’t go on like this,” said Mrs Hesketh.

“A few Canada geese aren’t a problem but when there are hundreds of them then something has to be done about it.

“Next year will there be twice as many? Who knows?”