Keep Wildlife Wild

Many people enjoy feeding ducks, swans and other waterfowl along the River Kennet. It feels good and brings the ducks closer for both children and adults to see. However duck feeding causes many problems for ducks, people and other wildlife. 

Wild ducks and swans need to eat green food and invertebrates that grow naturally in the river so they can maintain good health and enjoy a normal life span.  

  • Bread, cake and crisps etc are a poor subsitute for a ducks natural diet. 

  • Wild ducks fed on human foods can die of malnutrition and suffer liver problems.

  • Regular feeding encourages waterfowl to gather in large numbers which can lead to aggressive behaviour towards eachother and humans.

  • Scattering bread or corn on the ground means that the birds are eating in the same area where they defecate which is poor for their health.

  • Uneaten food left for ducks attracts large numbers of rats, making them used to human activity and rely on 'duck bread' as a food source.

  • Rats carry leptospirosis (Weils disease) which can be fatal to humans and dogs.

  • Rats can be responsible for a decliine in other river creatures such as water voles. 

For all these reasons, watching wildlife, rather than feeding it may be a better option for everyone. For further information from the Canal & Rivers Trust on keeping our ducks healthy click here.