Last year we launched a campaign as 6 million loaves of bread were thrown into our canals and rivers by well-intentioned people feeding the ducks each year. The bread wasn't great for them or their habitats and so we asked you to swap the bread for healthy snacks and to exercise some portion control.
Ducks up and down the country are benefiting from thinner waistlines and cleaner homes after figures released this week show you're choosing to feed them healthier treats.
The new data shows a 20% drop in the number of people feeding ducks bread – over 80,000 fewer loaves each year. And the good news continues, as the number of people feeding ducks healthier snacks such as seeds, fruit and vegetables has doubled.
Despite the positive changes however and the overwhelming public response over the last 12 months, there’s still work to be done as a hefty 3.5 million loaves of bread are still being thrown into canals, rivers, ponds and lakes every year and potentially polluting the environment.
Today, ahead of the official start of spring and at a time when thousands of new ducklings are due to hatch on its waterways, we're calling on you to continue your good work and spread the word even further.
Uneaten soggy bread can cause a build-up of bad nutrients which can lead to greater algae growth, spread disease and encourage pests such as rats.
Throwing bread into a canal or river can also create overcrowding of bird populations, as the birds will flock to the same location in search of their starchy treat.
Too many ducks or waterfowl in one place can stress the birds and lead to their habitats being damaged. It also creates excessive amounts of bird droppings which, along with being smelly and slippery underfoot, can reduce water quality and clog waterways with harmful algae.
It only takes a few simple changes such as swapping bread for healthy food that is closer to a duck’s natural diet – like oats, corn or peas. If everyone avoids going to the same duck-feeding hotspots and exercises portion control that would also make a big difference.