CAMPAIGNERS’ hopes of forcing a U-turn on plans to shoot Canada geese on Windermere have been dashed after it was confirmed a cull will go ahead.

After reviewing its decision following a wave of protests and a 2,600-signature petition, the Windermere Geese Management Group (WGMG) said it ‘remained committed to its original course of action’.

The group - made up of organisations and landowners including the Lake District National Park Authority - faced a fierce backlash and high-profile opposition from celebrity bird watcher Bill Oddie, Queen guitarist Brian May and animal charities.

A further demonstration against the cull is set to take place at Bowness Bay on Saturday at 12pm.

In a statement, WGMG said the cull would proceed as planned this spring because of the ‘serious negative effects’ caused by the birds.

“The group understands the emotive nature of the proposals and the strong beliefs held by some people,” the statement read.

“But the group remains committed to its original course of action to carry out a managed cull of Canada Geese on Windermere.”

The group said the large population of geese impacted on the economy and the environment, and added to pollution within the lake and surrounding land.

The statement continued: “These serious negative impacts include: damage to shoreline habitats, displacement of native species, farm grazing and crop land spoiled, pollution of public and private recreational land and public health concerns from pathogens, bacteria and parasites.”

Working with landowners, the group said the cull would be carried out ‘professionally, quickly and humanely’ and that non-lethal control measures would continue being used.