A council has declared that ducks in the area should be fed wholemeal or granary bread, not white bread, warning residents against chucking white Hovis, Warburtons, or Kingsmill
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Many of us enjoy feeding ducks on a warm summer’s day at the park, and it would never occur to most to consider the type of bread they should be chucking.
Although ducks don’t immediately appear to have the most discerning palates, one local authority has sent out a stern message to those who wouldn’t think twice about feeding ducks white bread.
Reigate and Banstead council, in east Surrey, has recommended that visitors to Reigate’s Priory Park swap out white Hovis, Warburtons, or Kingsmill for loaves of wholemeal or granary.
Signs placed at the park urge visitors, “If you must use bread please make sure it is the healthier varieties”, going on to compare white loaves to “ junk food that tastes good but has no nutritional value”.
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Speaking with The Sun, Lauren Baker, who often visits the park with her three-year-old son Ted, described the signs as being ‘a bit pretentious’.
The 30-year-old support officer continued: “It doesn’t surprise me as it’s Reigate. There’s a cost of living crisis, families are struggling to put bread on the table and they’re asking people to only feed ducks certain bread.
“Are they going to turn them away or ban them from feeding the ducks?”
A Reigate & Banstead Borough Council spokesperson has now issued the following statement to The Mirror: “We encourage Priory Park visitors to avoid feeding ducks with bread and instead use food like maize or seed, in line with guidance from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).
“With a high number of visitors to the park every day, there have been occasions where leftover bread floating in the lake has had a detrimental impact on the quality of the water and attracted rats, costing additional council resources to clean up.
“RSPB guidance suggests that bread in general, but particularly white bread, has little nutritional value for ducks and can result in them failing to eat a balanced diet, which can make them less healthy.”
Back in 2019, rescue charity Swan Lifeline launched the controversial ‘Bin The Bread’ campaign, claiming that bread is unhealthy for swans.
This sparked a bit of a debate at the time, with a number of experts stating that the advice to feed swans oats and peas rather than bread was in fact incorrect.
Her Majesty The Queen’s official swan keeper David Barber asserted that there is ‘no good reason’ to not feed swans with bread, with many of the birds becoming underweight as a result of the ban.
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