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We have been concerned for some time about the missing Grantham ducks, says reader

Reader letter: Where have all the ducks gone?

In response to last Friday’s Journal front page article, we have been concerned for some time.

We have not seen any ducklings on the river in Wyndham Park for at least three years, and not more than half a dozen ducks at a time.

A River Witham with no ducks in Wyndham Park. (46460727)
A River Witham with no ducks in Wyndham Park. (46460727)

This seemed to follow the work done by a group of organisations to alter the flow of the river by putting in barms which were like wickerwork crescents jutting into the river from the bank and filled with reeds and water plants. Also an area of decking was put in.

These measures halved the width of the river and must have roughly doubled the flow rate. We were told at the time that the aim was to increase the flow so that would scour the bed of the river, which would be clean gravel, which would help prevent American crayfish from coming upstream and competing with our native crayfish. However, this has resulted in the disappearance of the ducks as they must find it hard work and the ducklings would have no chance to swim safely against the fast current.

We did see one mother duck, the first for years, with six new ducklings two weeks ago, but sadly in a few days there was only one duckling left.

Another factor may be that people are not feeding the ducks any more, as giving them bread has been discouraged.

In the past we often had ducks and ducklings in our garden. Once we had to stop the traffic so the mother duck could take her brood across busy Manthorpe Road.

Something needs to be done. A river with ducks and ducklings is a prettier sight and attracts people to observe and enjoy the wildlife.

Nelson and Amber Porter, Manthorpe Road, Grantham

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