DON’T feed the ducks…bread.
A call has gone out from the Canal & River Trust for people to change their duck feeding habits as throwing bread in the district’s rivers and canals is potentially polluting the water, as uneaten soggy bread can cause a build-up of bad nutrients which can lead to greater algae growth, spread disease and encourage pests such as rats.
Paul Wilkinson, the trust’s senior ecologist, said: “Please come and feed the ducks but do it sensibly so your children and future generations can enjoy it too.
“People just need to make a few simple changes. Bread’s not great for a duck’s health as it’s nothing like their natural diet so don’t over feed them with large quantities of it. Try to vary what you give them and swap it for healthier more natural treats like oats, corn, or defrosted frozen peas. And exercise portion control.”
And the trust is also calling on people to vary where they feed ducks, geese and swans, as throwing it in the same place can create overcrowding of bird populations, as they will flock to the same location in search of the starchy treat.
Too many ducks or waterfowl in one place can stress the birds and lead to their habitats being damaged. It also creates excessive amounts of bird poo which along with being smelly and slippery underfoot, can affect water quality and create harmful algae which can clog the waterway.
The charity – the guardian of 2,000 miles of historic waterways across England and Wales – has created a free booklet packed with tips on the right food to feed the ducks which includes activities for children. To receive it, along with a free Quack Snack pouch to store healthy duck treats, Text DUCKS to 70060.
Visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/duck for further details.
* ANGLERS in Warwickshire are being reminded coarse fish in rivers is off limits until June 16.
The Environment Agency is warning those who fish in rivers during the coarse fishing close season, or anyone caught fishing illegally, can expect to be prosecuted and face a substantial fine.
Phil Wormald, Fisheries, Biodiversity and Geomorphology Team Leader, said: “The river close season for coarse fish is there for a good reason. It allows an uninterrupted spawning period for fish, which increases breeding success, in addition to providing wider environmental benefits.
“Environment Agency enforcement teams will be carrying out regular patrols of waters during the close season and anyone found fishing illegally could face prosecution and a hefty fine.”
People are being urged to change their duck feeding habits – for the benefit of the ducks. (s)