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News article created on 9 July 2015

Oatis Quackalot joins the Trust

Children from Bamford Academy in Rochdale used their wildlife knowledge as well as their creative minds to win our national competition to name the duck from our national education programme.

Suggesting the name ‘Oatis Quackalot’ for the duck character that stars in the our nationwide education programme has won the Year 4 class a boat trip along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and a trip into Standedge Tunnel – Britain’s longest canal tunnel.

The eight and nine year olds, who know all about the eating habits of ducks and that they should be fed oats instead of unhealthy white bread, said in their entry form: “By feeding Oatis the recommended diet of oats, we can ensure that he, and other ducks, quack (a lot) just like him.”

Explorers 

The competition was run by the Explorers section of the Trust which is linked to the National Curriculum and is aimed at introducing children and young people to the wonders of canals, their nature and history.

Keshia Francis from Bamford Academy comments: “Oatis is a name chosen by our Year 4 Hawk Class to remind visitors that ducks should eat oats and vegetables etc NOT bread! The catchy name should encourage a healthy lifestyle for all ducks.”

Bamford Academy beat 75 other schools and 2,000 children to win the competition and thoroughly enjoyed their prize of a boat trip along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

Katie Jackson from the Canal & River Trust said: “We had some great entries and it was a really tough decision, but we loved the entry from Bamford Academy. ‘Oatis Quackalot’ is a real catchy name and shows that the children understand the message about feeding ducks properly.”

Healthy diet

The competition follows the launch of a campaign by the Canal & River Trust aimed at encouraging people to feed ducks a healthy diet, with over 6 million loaves of bread thrown into canals and rivers every year by well intentioned people.

Katie added: “Bread isn’t great for ducks and we’re asking people to swap bread for healthier natural treats like oats, corn or defrosted frozen peas and exercise portion control.

“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 habitat being damaged. Next time you want to feed the ducks try to avoid the crowds. Go and find a new flock and spread the love!”