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Swaffham councillors discuss problems with duck mess in churchyard

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Concerns have been expressed over ducks causing mess which could be "hazardous" in a market town churchyard.

Swaffham Town Council discussed the issue during a meeting on Wednesday evening after it had been brought up by councillor Shirley Matthews.

She said: "They are making a hell of a mess in the churchyard. It's filthy and makes it slippery. Most of us at church are elderly and it makes it a difficult place to walk."

St Peter and St Paul Church, Swaffham. Picture: John Salmon
St Peter and St Paul Church, Swaffham. Picture: John Salmon

In response, councillor Wendy Bensley agreed it is messy and suggested the ducks cannot be removed at this particular time after hearing as such from Breckland councillor Fabian Eagle.

Swaffham's Breckland councillor David Wickerson said he is working with Sue Hammond, environmental health officer at the district council, over the issue.

He added: "If it results in an environmental hazard, Breckland Council will come and clean it up and that's all they can do as no one owns the ducks."

Town councillor Ian Pilcher stated there have been similar problems in the past on Pit Lane and said there may be a correlation with the ducks being fed at particular locations.

He suggested moving them beyond the churchyard through Campingland to an adjacent field.

Mayor Jill Skinner said: "I am quite in favour of what Ian said about taking them to the field but I guess there are a lot of dogs there."

Councillor Keith Sandle said the ducks should be moved to an existing duckpond, while Graham Edwards asked if signs were going to be put up asking people not to feed them.

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