Concerns raised over 'excessive' feeding of ducks at popular pond

Members of the Gunton Residents’ Association and the Gainsborough Drive Pond Group at the pond.

Members of the Gunton Residents’ Association and the Gainsborough Drive Pond Group at the pond. - Credit: Mick Howes

A council has launched a crackdown on people feeding the ducks at a popular town pond after a boom in numbers.

New signs look set to be installed at the Gainsborough Drive pond in north Lowestoft, with information leaflets delivered to homes nearby after concerns were raised in the past couple of months over the feeding of ducks and changes in water quality.

Ducks at the Gainsborough Drive pond.

Ducks at the Gainsborough Drive pond. - Credit: Mick Howes

The Gunton Residents’ Association has been liaising with Lowestoft Town Council over "excessive" duck feeding at the pond, which is contributing to maintaining an "artificially high" number of ducks there.

Ducks at the Gainsborough Drive pond

Ducks at the Gainsborough Drive pond. - Credit: Mick Howes

According to the Gainsborough Drive Pond Group - which was formed at the end of 2018 and established as a sub-group of the Gunton Residents’ Association - the feeding of ducks combined with leftover food is "adding to the detritus in the pond".

The Lowestoft Town Council information display board, close to a warning of ducks crossing sign, on Gainsborough Drive.

The Lowestoft Town Council information display board, close to a warning of ducks crossing sign, on Gainsborough Drive. - Credit: Mick Howes

Safety concerns have also been raised, as with an increased number of ducks in the area being a potential hazard to drivers travelling on a busy road.

Gainsborough Drive in Lowestoft.

Gainsborough Drive in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes


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The residents’ association has asked the council to consider information leaflets that could be delivered to homes nearby, and to replace a faded sign at the pond with new signage.

A town council spokesman said: "The town council has been informed by residents of issues with feeding of the ducks and wildlife in the Gainsborough Drive pond area.

Members of the Gunton Residents’ Association and the Gainsborough Drive Pond Group at the pond.

Members of the Gunton Residents’ Association and the Gainsborough Drive Pond Group at the faded sign at the pond. - Credit: Mick Howes

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"Due to excessive feeding of the ducks with products that are considered not suitable for their diets, such as bread, the water quality of the pond has radically changed.

The Gainsborough Drive pond in Lowestoft.

The Gainsborough Drive pond in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

"The town council is currently developing signage to reflect the issues in this area, including not feeding ducks bread and requesting feeding is limited to birdseed, peas, oats, and other products which are recommended by specialists.

The faded 'do not feed the ducks' sign at the Gainsborough Drive pond in Lowestoft.

The faded 'do not feed the ducks' sign at the Gainsborough Drive pond in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

"The wording for the leaflets and signage is currently under review."

Ducks at the Gainsborough Drive pond.

Ducks at the Gainsborough Drive pond. - Credit: Mick Howes

The Gainsborough Drive Pond Group - who regularly carry out maintenance of the pond area - met on Wednesday evening to firm up plans for the appropriate wording on the signs and leaflets.

The faded 'do not feed the ducks' sign at the Gainsborough Drive pond in Lowestoft

The faded 'do not feed the ducks' sign at the Gainsborough Drive pond in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

Kevin Pull, chairman of the Gunton Residents Association/Pond Group, said: "There is a faded sign at the pond asking visitors not to feed the ducks.

"We hope that two new replacement signs will be installed at either end of the pond, with around 100 leaflets to be delivered around the direct area to homes on the estate."

Ducks at the Gainsborough Drive pond.

Ducks at the Gainsborough Drive pond. - Credit: Mick Howes

Group member, David Siebert, said the new signage and leaflets would provide "friendly advice" to visitors.

"There are a number of ongoing problems and it is a very emotive issue," he said.

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