People urged to avoid giving bread to ducks in Grantham's River Witham
Rivercare volunteers are calling on people to avoid feeding bread to ducks after an increase in bread-based products discarded in the River Witham.
Ian Simmons and David Martin, co-leaders of Grantham RiverCare, are urging people to think about the health of the ducks before tossing their bread into the river.
On a post on Grantham RiverCare’s Facebook page, they said: “In the last few weeks on our #LockDownLitterPick we have seen and had to clean up an increase in bread based products along the riverside that has been fed to the ducks or thrown whole into the river and Queen Elizabeth Park fishing pond.
“Please, we ask you to care for the health of the ducks by not feeding them bread, it is not great for them and of no great nutritional value and any left to rot is unsightly and is not great for the health of the river.
“There are plenty of healthy alternatives such as seed mixes, sweetcorn, frozen peas, oats, half grapes and chopped lettuce.”
Ducks will often take bread in preference to healthy alternatives but it has very little nutritional value. It also reduces their natural foraging behaviours and can cause deformities.
Ian added: “While we are not completely against feeding bread to ducks, some people are dumping large quantities in the river, greatly in excess of the needs of the ducks. Bread that goes uneaten will rot down in the river, creating a toxic risk, including botulism, for other wildlife “
Properly formulated duck food is available in Wyndham Park’s cafe, Cliff Edge Cycles and the Visitor Centre.