‘Don’t feed ducks’ plea to Swaffham residents as council worries above bill to move them

The Buttercross in Swaffham.
The Buttercross in Swaffham.

People are being urged not to feed the ducks that residents of a Swaffham estate say are driving them quackers.

Town councillors have been told that up to 200 ducks have been gathering around a pond in the Couhe Close area and waking residents in the early hours of the morning.

But the authority says it will have to find a new company to deal with the problem, after its previous contractor quadrupled its prices.

A group of residents raised the issue during public question time at the town council’s meeting on Wednesday.

One said he was shooing the ducks away during early morning dog walks, while other residents were feeding them, even after being asked not to.

They called for action to remove the birds and letters to be sent to residents in the area asking them not to feed them.

Brenda Bowler supported the letter idea, telling her colleagues it had been effective elsewhere in the town.

She said: “When they (the ducks) were going to Tesco, there were notices saying not to feed them and they went. The estate can help themselves a bit.”

Town clerk Richard Bishop said the ducks would be taken at least 20 miles away from the area when they are removed.

But, although members stressed that they were aware of the issue and were seeking a resolution to it, a new, lower cost contractor would need to be found to do the work.

Town mayor Jill Skinner said: “The people who removed the ducks have increased their prices by four times.”

The meeting was later told the contractor concerned had increased its price from around £500 to almost £2,000.

Councillors also called for district council environmental health teams to be alerted to the issue and Anglian Water, which owns the pond where the ducks are gathering, to repair signs around it to reinforce the no feeding message.