VIDEO: Canada geese force Saltaire Cricket Club into daily clean-up operation

Billy Ricketts, the volunteer groundsman at Saltaire Cricket Club, is unhappy with having to clean up after geese

Billy Ricketts, the volunteer groundsman at Saltaire Cricket Club, is unhappy with having to clean up after geese

Billy Ricketts, the volunteer groundsman at Saltaire Cricket Club, is unhappy with having to clean up after geese

Saltaire Cricket Club is being affected by droppings from Canada Geese

Saltaire Cricket Club is being affected by droppings from Canada Geese

First published in News
Last updated
Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

THE frustrated groundsman at Saltaire Cricket Club has called for action after being faced with a daily clean-up due to a group of Canada geese.

A group of 36 Canada geese were spotted grazing on the cricket pitch at Roberts Park yesterday morning and each day the park staff are left to clear up their droppings.

Billy Ricketts, volunteer groundsman at Saltaire Cricket Club for the last 28 years, says the clean-up operation is needed for matches and events to go ahead, such as a three-day children’s cricket coaching course, which started on Monday.

He says the problem is getting worse after “months and months” and has contacted Bradford Council’s environmental health team in a bid to move the geese away after they come up off the river that runs through the park.

But Mr Ricketts fears the problem will not get fixed until someone falls “seriously ill”. He added players’ cricket whites are getting covered in the geese mess too during the matches they play at the pitch.

He says the mess is even being left on the wicket of the cricket field.

Mr Ricketts said: “It’s an absolute joke.

"I'm sick to the back teeth of having to pick up goose droppings.

"People can't picnic and play on the outside of the cricket pitch because of the problem.

“We have to spend two hours each day going over it with a machine, clearing it up. We get covered in it too. We get splattered.

“The mess is all over the whole of the park. We’ve had as many as 51 geese on the park in the past. The geese are coming up off the river.

“There were about 36 Canada geese grazing on the park yesterday.

“It’s been going on for months and months. We just want them moved on and for people to stop feeding them.

"The pathways are covered by goose droppings. The players' cricket whites are covered in goose droppings.

"We have got 30 kids coming down for cricket coaching at the club this week.

“It seems like nothing will be done until someone goes down seriously ill with salmonella or e coli. We are totally frustrated. Why should we go down every day and clean it up? We have to go round with a shovel. It’s a health hazard.

“The mess has even gone on the cricket wickets. We have to clean it up even before the cricket matches.”

Comments (26)

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8:35am Wed 20 Aug 14

Apollo says...

He should think himself lucky it was not a bunch of traveller scum.
He should think himself lucky it was not a bunch of traveller scum. Apollo
  • Score: 19

9:09am Wed 20 Aug 14

llos25 says...

A storey about nothing so amiable said above then you will have something to moan about.
A storey about nothing so amiable said above then you will have something to moan about. llos25
  • Score: -7

9:24am Wed 20 Aug 14

cockadoodledo says...

Miserable old xxxxx ! Time to retire the cricket season is almost over after all , does he want the geese shooting? Then what next, seagulls, could bring in shooting parties after the grouse season finishes. A lot worse things to worry about!
Miserable old xxxxx ! Time to retire the cricket season is almost over after all , does he want the geese shooting? Then what next, seagulls, could bring in shooting parties after the grouse season finishes. A lot worse things to worry about! cockadoodledo
  • Score: 14

9:24am Wed 20 Aug 14

minkiebantam says...

Saw him this morning. I thought he was practising his herding techs Until he lobbed a great big stick at them to scare them off the pitch! lol.
Got to feel for the lad, but what can you do? I would rather have the geese than the travellers camps.
Its a park, next to a river. Your gonna get Birds.
Sh!t happens!
Pun intended. ; )
Saw him this morning. I thought he was practising his herding techs Until he lobbed a great big stick at them to scare them off the pitch! lol. Got to feel for the lad, but what can you do? I would rather have the geese than the travellers camps. Its a park, next to a river. Your gonna get Birds. Sh!t happens! Pun intended. ; ) minkiebantam
  • Score: 27

9:29am Wed 20 Aug 14

cockadoodledo says...

Photo on the riverbank! Out of bounds for cricketers! Or would that be a 6?
Photo on the riverbank! Out of bounds for cricketers! Or would that be a 6? cockadoodledo
  • Score: 9

10:50am Wed 20 Aug 14

Farsley Bantam says...

Bloody immigrant geese! Coming here and sh1tting all over the place. No respect. Send em back
Bloody immigrant geese! Coming here and sh1tting all over the place. No respect. Send em back Farsley Bantam
  • Score: 10

12:16pm Wed 20 Aug 14

colgre says...

goose pies....
goose pies.... colgre
  • Score: 1

12:37pm Wed 20 Aug 14

Dizzygirl says...

Think someone needs a reality check on this one. Other clubs have the same problem in the area but don't see them moaning. This sort of thing happens when you are next to a River but don't worry I'm sure the pitch will get a nice wash next time the River floods.
Think someone needs a reality check on this one. Other clubs have the same problem in the area but don't see them moaning. This sort of thing happens when you are next to a River but don't worry I'm sure the pitch will get a nice wash next time the River floods. Dizzygirl
  • Score: 6

12:47pm Wed 20 Aug 14

A650 says...

Is he seriously asking for the coucil to appoint people to be there in hours of daylight to shoo them away?
Is he seriously asking for the coucil to appoint people to be there in hours of daylight to shoo them away? A650
  • Score: 9

12:58pm Wed 20 Aug 14

Longshortleg says...

First they moan about the floods, then complain about the canal barge selling ice-creams, now birds pooping on the field. Bit of a moaning club on the face of it. Alas, the problems of playing in a public park. Other local clubs are based near the river and have the same problem. Seems that SCC are the only ones regularly in the Press whinging about their problems.
First they moan about the floods, then complain about the canal barge selling ice-creams, now birds pooping on the field. Bit of a moaning club on the face of it. Alas, the problems of playing in a public park. Other local clubs are based near the river and have the same problem. Seems that SCC are the only ones regularly in the Press whinging about their problems. Longshortleg
  • Score: 12

1:20pm Wed 20 Aug 14

Tyke69 says...

I was in the park this morning on my regular walk and there were more ducks and seagulls than geese, is Mr Ricketts planning to get those banned too? He never seems to stop moaning about something, he'll only be happy when nobody visits the park anymore and he's on his own with the cricket pitch. As for the stains on cricketers' whites - has he ever heard of biological washing powder? Surely they're no more difficult to get out than grass stains.

I'll be keeping an eye on him and if I catch him doing anything untoward to the local wildlife I'll report him to the RSPCA. Nobody else seems to have a problem with the geese except Mr Ricketts.
I was in the park this morning on my regular walk and there were more ducks and seagulls than geese, is Mr Ricketts planning to get those banned too? He never seems to stop moaning about something, he'll only be happy when nobody visits the park anymore and he's on his own with the cricket pitch. As for the stains on cricketers' whites - has he ever heard of biological washing powder? Surely they're no more difficult to get out than grass stains. I'll be keeping an eye on him and if I catch him doing anything untoward to the local wildlife I'll report him to the RSPCA. Nobody else seems to have a problem with the geese except Mr Ricketts. Tyke69
  • Score: 17

1:31pm Wed 20 Aug 14

mr-dog says...

Sounds like it's time to get the flock out of there.
Sounds like it's time to get the flock out of there. mr-dog
  • Score: 7

1:43pm Wed 20 Aug 14

Farsley Bantam says...

mr-dog wrote:
Sounds like it's time to get the flock out of there.
There seems to be a bit of fowl play going on here.
[quote][p][bold]mr-dog[/bold] wrote: Sounds like it's time to get the flock out of there.[/p][/quote]There seems to be a bit of fowl play going on here. Farsley Bantam
  • Score: 5

1:44pm Wed 20 Aug 14

Rumb7e says...

minkiebantam wrote:
Saw him this morning. I thought he was practising his herding techs Until he lobbed a great big stick at them to scare them off the pitch! lol.
Got to feel for the lad, but what can you do? I would rather have the geese than the travellers camps.
Its a park, next to a river. Your gonna get Birds.
Sh!t happens!
Pun intended. ; )
haha, nice1
[quote][p][bold]minkiebantam[/bold] wrote: Saw him this morning. I thought he was practising his herding techs Until he lobbed a great big stick at them to scare them off the pitch! lol. Got to feel for the lad, but what can you do? I would rather have the geese than the travellers camps. Its a park, next to a river. Your gonna get Birds. Sh!t happens! Pun intended. ; )[/p][/quote]haha, nice1 Rumb7e
  • Score: 4

2:08pm Wed 20 Aug 14

budbabe says...

Perhaps he should get them on leads like the dogs now have to be. I love nature..no rules apply. Merry Christmas Billy.
Perhaps he should get them on leads like the dogs now have to be. I love nature..no rules apply. Merry Christmas Billy. budbabe
  • Score: 5

4:44pm Wed 20 Aug 14

linebacker2 says...

The geese would have been there before the cricket pitch, so it's him encroaching on their land.
The geese would have been there before the cricket pitch, so it's him encroaching on their land. linebacker2
  • Score: 8

5:39pm Wed 20 Aug 14

awasteoftime says...

I wonder who came first the geese or the cricket pitch ?. We are to encourage nature and be green so what is the problem, you are getting the grass fertilized for free.
It could be a lot worse it could be gypsies !.
Anyway maybe he could get some unemployed or those on community hours to go and clean up daily, it would keep them out of trouble at least.
I am afraid there are much bigger problems to worry about than bird muck !.
I wonder who came first the geese or the cricket pitch ?. We are to encourage nature and be green so what is the problem, you are getting the grass fertilized for free. It could be a lot worse it could be gypsies !. Anyway maybe he could get some unemployed or those on community hours to go and clean up daily, it would keep them out of trouble at least. I am afraid there are much bigger problems to worry about than bird muck !. awasteoftime
  • Score: 3

7:10pm Wed 20 Aug 14

linebacker2 says...

awasteoftime wrote:
I wonder who came first the geese or the cricket pitch ?. We are to encourage nature and be green so what is the problem, you are getting the grass fertilized for free.
It could be a lot worse it could be gypsies !.
Anyway maybe he could get some unemployed or those on community hours to go and clean up daily, it would keep them out of trouble at least.
I am afraid there are much bigger problems to worry about than bird muck !.
Think you'd find the gypsies would fertilise the grass for free as well
[quote][p][bold]awasteoftime[/bold] wrote: I wonder who came first the geese or the cricket pitch ?. We are to encourage nature and be green so what is the problem, you are getting the grass fertilized for free. It could be a lot worse it could be gypsies !. Anyway maybe he could get some unemployed or those on community hours to go and clean up daily, it would keep them out of trouble at least. I am afraid there are much bigger problems to worry about than bird muck !.[/p][/quote]Think you'd find the gypsies would fertilise the grass for free as well linebacker2
  • Score: 3

8:18pm Wed 20 Aug 14

thurush says...

mmmm
mmmm thurush
  • Score: 2

8:28pm Wed 20 Aug 14

thurush says...

Maybe one or two folk are missing the point - the reality is that whilst we may all love at looking at a goose or two, the situation is such that in this wonderful green flag park, which has had recent plaudits on the radio etc, there now is literally a no go zone for families to picnic etc due to the very real fear of catching somehing from the goose droppings etc - it must be a health hazard - would you let your kids play in an area littered with goose droppings?Would you want to sit on grass covered in the same? I suspect not..surely the Council can find a way of dealing with the issue..it is surely in everyone's interests to do so because no matter what your views are on geese, ducks etc, there is a very real problem in Roberts Park that is not going go away and i would defy anyone to prove that footfall in the park has not fallen over recent weeks.....as forMr. Ricketts, get off his back, he works really hard as do the cricket club and contribute significantly to the upkeep of the park, particularly, the area they pay substantial rent to the Council for so it is no surprise that they expect a little more understanding from all to resolve this 'crappy' issue......
Maybe one or two folk are missing the point - the reality is that whilst we may all love at looking at a goose or two, the situation is such that in this wonderful green flag park, which has had recent plaudits on the radio etc, there now is literally a no go zone for families to picnic etc due to the very real fear of catching somehing from the goose droppings etc - it must be a health hazard - would you let your kids play in an area littered with goose droppings?Would you want to sit on grass covered in the same? I suspect not..surely the Council can find a way of dealing with the issue..it is surely in everyone's interests to do so because no matter what your views are on geese, ducks etc, there is a very real problem in Roberts Park that is not going go away and i would defy anyone to prove that footfall in the park has not fallen over recent weeks.....as forMr. Ricketts, get off his back, he works really hard as do the cricket club and contribute significantly to the upkeep of the park, particularly, the area they pay substantial rent to the Council for so it is no surprise that they expect a little more understanding from all to resolve this 'crappy' issue...... thurush
  • Score: -9

8:21am Thu 21 Aug 14

Longshortleg says...

thurush wrote:
Maybe one or two folk are missing the point - the reality is that whilst we may all love at looking at a goose or two, the situation is such that in this wonderful green flag park, which has had recent plaudits on the radio etc, there now is literally a no go zone for families to picnic etc due to the very real fear of catching somehing from the goose droppings etc - it must be a health hazard - would you let your kids play in an area littered with goose droppings?Would you want to sit on grass covered in the same? I suspect not..surely the Council can find a way of dealing with the issue..it is surely in everyone's interests to do so because no matter what your views are on geese, ducks etc, there is a very real problem in Roberts Park that is not going go away and i would defy anyone to prove that footfall in the park has not fallen over recent weeks.....as forMr. Ricketts, get off his back, he works really hard as do the cricket club and contribute significantly to the upkeep of the park, particularly, the area they pay substantial rent to the Council for so it is no surprise that they expect a little more understanding from all to resolve this 'crappy' issue......
Mr Rickett's complaint is purely based on the cricket pitch not the park in general. If the cricket pitch wasn't there, he wouldn't be clearing the mess up.

They may pay rents to the council but they also make a good profit from the cafe.

He talks about people wanting to picnic. Many of these will be the same people who feed the geese with bits of food, therefore they contribute to the geese being there.

Bradford & Bingley have the same problem but I haven't seen them moaning in the press. It's one of the things that has to be accepted if you have a pitch near a river that attracts wildlife.

Can't wait to see the next SCC story in winter to see if the flood water is a good thing to wash the guano away or if that is another thing they expect the council to step in and stop.
[quote][p][bold]thurush[/bold] wrote: Maybe one or two folk are missing the point - the reality is that whilst we may all love at looking at a goose or two, the situation is such that in this wonderful green flag park, which has had recent plaudits on the radio etc, there now is literally a no go zone for families to picnic etc due to the very real fear of catching somehing from the goose droppings etc - it must be a health hazard - would you let your kids play in an area littered with goose droppings?Would you want to sit on grass covered in the same? I suspect not..surely the Council can find a way of dealing with the issue..it is surely in everyone's interests to do so because no matter what your views are on geese, ducks etc, there is a very real problem in Roberts Park that is not going go away and i would defy anyone to prove that footfall in the park has not fallen over recent weeks.....as forMr. Ricketts, get off his back, he works really hard as do the cricket club and contribute significantly to the upkeep of the park, particularly, the area they pay substantial rent to the Council for so it is no surprise that they expect a little more understanding from all to resolve this 'crappy' issue......[/p][/quote]Mr Rickett's complaint is purely based on the cricket pitch not the park in general. If the cricket pitch wasn't there, he wouldn't be clearing the mess up. They may pay rents to the council but they also make a good profit from the cafe. He talks about people wanting to picnic. Many of these will be the same people who feed the geese with bits of food, therefore they contribute to the geese being there. Bradford & Bingley have the same problem but I haven't seen them moaning in the press. It's one of the things that has to be accepted if you have a pitch near a river that attracts wildlife. Can't wait to see the next SCC story in winter to see if the flood water is a good thing to wash the guano away or if that is another thing they expect the council to step in and stop. Longshortleg
  • Score: 4

10:57am Thu 21 Aug 14

Albion. says...

Longshortleg wrote:
thurush wrote:
Maybe one or two folk are missing the point - the reality is that whilst we may all love at looking at a goose or two, the situation is such that in this wonderful green flag park, which has had recent plaudits on the radio etc, there now is literally a no go zone for families to picnic etc due to the very real fear of catching somehing from the goose droppings etc - it must be a health hazard - would you let your kids play in an area littered with goose droppings?Would you want to sit on grass covered in the same? I suspect not..surely the Council can find a way of dealing with the issue..it is surely in everyone's interests to do so because no matter what your views are on geese, ducks etc, there is a very real problem in Roberts Park that is not going go away and i would defy anyone to prove that footfall in the park has not fallen over recent weeks.....as forMr. Ricketts, get off his back, he works really hard as do the cricket club and contribute significantly to the upkeep of the park, particularly, the area they pay substantial rent to the Council for so it is no surprise that they expect a little more understanding from all to resolve this 'crappy' issue......
Mr Rickett's complaint is purely based on the cricket pitch not the park in general. If the cricket pitch wasn't there, he wouldn't be clearing the mess up.

They may pay rents to the council but they also make a good profit from the cafe.

He talks about people wanting to picnic. Many of these will be the same people who feed the geese with bits of food, therefore they contribute to the geese being there.

Bradford & Bingley have the same problem but I haven't seen them moaning in the press. It's one of the things that has to be accepted if you have a pitch near a river that attracts wildlife.

Can't wait to see the next SCC story in winter to see if the flood water is a good thing to wash the guano away or if that is another thing they expect the council to step in and stop.
If you google the club or the groundsman in the T&A archives there is a very long list of complaints, when I pointed that out yesterday my post was removed.
[quote][p][bold]Longshortleg[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]thurush[/bold] wrote: Maybe one or two folk are missing the point - the reality is that whilst we may all love at looking at a goose or two, the situation is such that in this wonderful green flag park, which has had recent plaudits on the radio etc, there now is literally a no go zone for families to picnic etc due to the very real fear of catching somehing from the goose droppings etc - it must be a health hazard - would you let your kids play in an area littered with goose droppings?Would you want to sit on grass covered in the same? I suspect not..surely the Council can find a way of dealing with the issue..it is surely in everyone's interests to do so because no matter what your views are on geese, ducks etc, there is a very real problem in Roberts Park that is not going go away and i would defy anyone to prove that footfall in the park has not fallen over recent weeks.....as forMr. Ricketts, get off his back, he works really hard as do the cricket club and contribute significantly to the upkeep of the park, particularly, the area they pay substantial rent to the Council for so it is no surprise that they expect a little more understanding from all to resolve this 'crappy' issue......[/p][/quote]Mr Rickett's complaint is purely based on the cricket pitch not the park in general. If the cricket pitch wasn't there, he wouldn't be clearing the mess up. They may pay rents to the council but they also make a good profit from the cafe. He talks about people wanting to picnic. Many of these will be the same people who feed the geese with bits of food, therefore they contribute to the geese being there. Bradford & Bingley have the same problem but I haven't seen them moaning in the press. It's one of the things that has to be accepted if you have a pitch near a river that attracts wildlife. Can't wait to see the next SCC story in winter to see if the flood water is a good thing to wash the guano away or if that is another thing they expect the council to step in and stop.[/p][/quote]If you google the club or the groundsman in the T&A archives there is a very long list of complaints, when I pointed that out yesterday my post was removed. Albion.
  • Score: 3

12:03pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Out of site says...

Is it painful to google the groundsman?is it legal?
Is it painful to google the groundsman?is it legal? Out of site
  • Score: 2

12:12pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Albion. says...

Out of site wrote:
Is it painful to google the groundsman?is it legal?
It's all very bewildering :-)
[quote][p][bold]Out of site[/bold] wrote: Is it painful to google the groundsman?is it legal?[/p][/quote]It's all very bewildering :-) Albion.
  • Score: 2

3:49pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Hey diddle diddle says...

Mr Ricketts in the paper again! Moaning, seems to be his favourite pass time. As others have pointed out, there is much more serious things going on in the world, than Billy's little patch of grass. Come on T&A, Surely you have better things to write about, other than this mans continuous rantings.
Mr Ricketts in the paper again! Moaning, seems to be his favourite pass time. As others have pointed out, there is much more serious things going on in the world, than Billy's little patch of grass. Come on T&A, Surely you have better things to write about, other than this mans continuous rantings. Hey diddle diddle
  • Score: 2

8:11am Fri 22 Aug 14

lolalexi86 says...

If you move the geese then what will be the next problem ducks seagulls pigeons it is not as if you can control where a bird goes
If you move the geese then what will be the next problem ducks seagulls pigeons it is not as if you can control where a bird goes lolalexi86
  • Score: 0

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