Ducks on a diet...
A call by the Canal & River Trust to feed healthier food to ducks has been taken to heart by animal lovers.
Since the charity launched its campaign in 2015 there has been a 20 percent drop in the number of people feeding bread to ducks.
In 2015, 97 percent admitted to feeding ducks with either white or brown bread and by 2016 the figure had dropped to 83 percent. This year it has fallen even further to 71 percent
Now, the charity is again reminding people avoid feeding bread when visiting their favourite waterside location this spring and swap to healthier treats such as kale, lettuce or porridge oats.
Peter Birch, National Environment manager for CRT, said: “Our waterways are wonderful places where people can spend time together and feeding ducks is one of the most popular pastimes, enjoyed by people of all ages. The Canal & River Trust launched this campaign because we were concerned about the effects of too much bread being thrown into our waterways which are home to hundreds of thousands of ducks and other waterfowl.
“The response has been astounding. The public are helping to protect ducks’ habitats and are making a real difference.” People are swapping to healthier treats with a rise in the population opting to feed their feathered friends leftover vegetables and salad instead of bread – from ten percent in 2015 to 23 percent in 2017.
Peter Birch added: “It only takes a few simple changes such as swapping bread for healthy food that is closer to a duck’s natural diet – like oats, corn or peas.
“If people avoid going to the same duckfeeding hotspots and exercises portion control that also makes a big difference.”
However, it still means nearly three-quarters of the population are throwing their left over bread into canals, rivers, reservoirs and lakes across the country.
And nearly 40 percent are using the worst offender – white bread, which can be full of nasty preservatives, salt and sugars and can pollute water by causing harmful algae.