And so the 2016 Birmingham Wildlife Festival proved to be a great success and a milestone for this campaign. It was the second outing for SOSCG after last year, and it also saw the return of The Park Knight- Gooseman!
Getting into the Centenary Square proved to be the most difficult experience of the entire day, with much of central Birmingham resembling the 2nd Death Star. Roadworks and road closures left Sat Navs up the swanny.
Once in theatre, and we had set up the stall shared with a cat rescue team. Many leaflets were handed out and people were still genuinely shocked as to the actions of Sandwell Council. Whilst buying goose food, people were also generous in support of the cause to save the geese.
There were several other stalls such as Stop the Squirrel Cull, West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs and Birmingham Animal Action raising awareness of their volunteer work to help protect and promote wildlife and animals. We also found some familiar themes emerge about the way in which big business and Government can distort information to scapegoat certain animals or birds in order to promote financial incentives. Good vegan grub was also on offer. The sausage rolls and lemon cake were particularly enjoyable.
It was a chance for Gooseman to stretch his legs and catch up with some other wildlife pals. Armed with his trusty lightsaber, in case of confrontation by any passing Sith Lords, the Big G strutted his stuff around the site.
In all the excitement he felt like a walkabout outside the area and so took to the mean Broad Street.
And then he caught his reflection in a passing window. What a handsome devil he thought, but he smelt water in the air and continued on his journey in case any crime fighting was needed.
A little further took him to the Canal where Dragon boat racing was in progress.
Then suddenly from nowhere three tipsy Northern lass bananas mobbed him; obviously they knew that a VIP was in town. Thankfully he didn’t spill his seed or let his guard down and was happy to pose for pictures.
And then another highlight, a pub just for geese! How enlightening and not species prejudiced thought Gooseman, if it were Sandwell there would probably be a sign up saying “No Quacks, No Ducks, No Moorhenish.”
After a little liquid refreshment he headed off back to the square, exhausted with all the excitement. Elsewhere the Hunt sabs unfolded a banner on the library and inner city wildlife actually was in evidence within the market stall space. Gulls , pigeons and a Goldfinch. Intermittent music completed the scene in-between speakers on stage and scary Morris dancers providing a visual spectacle.
There was also the opportunity for us to speak on stage this year, amongst many other well known speakers and wildlife organisations which was taken. Hopefully the message that wildlife and Canada geese as well as other so called “non-native” species matter was registered. They should not be culled and are just as important as those species which conservationists appear to want to protect, (though interestingly by never getting their clean hands dirty), for sentimental reasons based around a national manmade created border.
“BE THAT VOICE”