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Swaffham market traders told to stop feeding the ducks

PUBLISHED: 06:00 28 April 2015 | UPDATED: 17:36 01 May 2015

Two ducks which get bird seed from a stall in Swaffham Market every Saturday are to miss out as stall holders have been asked not to feed them. Photo montage: Matthew Usher.

Two ducks which get bird seed from a stall in Swaffham Market every Saturday are to miss out as stall holders have been asked not to feed them. Photo montage: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2015

Feathers have been ruffled in a Norfolk town after market traders were told to stop feeding two ducks.

For more than a year, two mallards have become familiar faces at Swaffham market on a Saturday morning.

Staff at a stall, run by Shire Foods of Norfolk, feed the feathered duo with bird seed.

They fly in to the market place on a Saturday morning, have some “breakfast” and then fly off again.

But at the weekend, Swaffham Town Council councillor Sheila Lister told a member of staff on the stall that they should no longer feed the birds.

Pat Gould, owner of Shire Foods of Norfolk, which has been attending the town’s market for more than 30 years, said: “The residents of Swaffham and their children love seeing them there. We also have some tourists who take pictures of themselves with the ducks.

“The ducks know when to come, they come at the same time every week and they’re not causing any problems. They are quite cute. It’s a shame that someone feels they have got to stamp their authority and stop them from coming in and having their breakfast.”

He said the ducks stay clear from where they are trading their packed goods and his staff facilitate their exit and departure from the market so they do not get run over.

Ms Lister declined to comment but town clerk Richard Bishop said: “The town council has been requested to help a number of residents in various parts of the Town where ducks have caused them distress by constantly causing a mess in their gardens.

“These locations are all close to the town centre, and councillors are aware of this problem, so a polite request by a not to encourage the ducks to a market trader is perfectly in order.”

25 comments

  • The pet food stall will do well with all extra duck food they will be selling this weekend I know i'll be buying some ;)

    Report this comment

    Kalvin McLeod

    Wednesday, April 29, 2015

  • Sounds like this Councillor has ruffled a few feathers. She should Duck out of this.

    Report this comment

    Norfolk Lad

    Wednesday, April 29, 2015

  • Too many ducks are a plague - they totally destroyed my wild-life pond. But TWO drakes? Come on!! If they decided to bring their wives and ducklings for breakfast at Shire Foods, that would be a different matter. In the meantime, I do hope very much that Shire Foods gain by their free publicity: nice humane people!

    Report this comment

    catharthis

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

  • Maybe the traders could adopt Orville as their mascot. If the councillor complains about it they can say "Leave 'im alone - ee's 'armless".

    Report this comment

    So_Many_Haters!

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

  • Just how small minded is this. Leave the big issues alone and pick on the small things that do nothing but annoy people. Market traders work very hard to earn a living and provide a great service They just do not need things like this.Think again councilor. You serve the people not boss them around.

    Report this comment

    Johnny Norfolk

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

  • When asked for a comment about the Swaffham ducks and Keith Harris' demise, his agent said "Orville was speechless".

    Report this comment

    ToxicGasWarningSystem

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

  • @toxicgas - something like "a bird on the hand was worth two round the pond"?

    Report this comment

    rushallchap

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

  • Wouldn't it be great if this story could be linked into the sad news about Keith Harris.

    Report this comment

    ToxicGasWarningSystem

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

  • Bah humbug....jobs worth!!

    Report this comment

    MIKEJ

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

  • Lynda says "I would prefer this so called councillor to have a word with people who spit in the street, and spit their chewing gum out all over the place" My question is do you take ownership of this behavior Lynda or leave it to others ?? As for the duck issue, what a non article.

    Report this comment

    Responsible parent

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

  • this is ducking outrageous !

    Report this comment

    rushallchap

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

  • Well, people of Swaffham, if you expect better than this from your elected representatives, you know what to do the next time that you see the name "Sheila Lister" on a ballot paper.

    Report this comment

    Dictate

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

  • Swaffham Town Councillors of whatever political persuasion should be ashamed. Is it that ducks not fit in with your celebrations of 800 years of the market? Incidentally, there is no documented evidence either locally or nationally to support these events.

    Report this comment

    ToxicGasWarningSystem

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

  • Does the photo really fit the bill? I think it was a fowl decision by the councillor and she would better spend her time Peking into the activities of people who litter. I'm sure the other market traders will flock to the defense of the Shire Foods staff - a "quiet word" like that would definitely ruffle MY feathers.

    Report this comment

    So_Many_Haters!

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

  • Sheila Lister has no authority to tell anybody to do anything. She can be part of a committee that requires council departments to act in a certain way but that is all. The stallholders should just ignore her as should the electorate next time round when she seeks re-election.

    Report this comment

    Green Ink from Tunbridge Wells

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

  • Yet more interfering from Swaffham councillors, supposedly representing the town. What have they got right recently? Took over the farmer's market - that's gone. Organise car boot sales (the councillor named here) and don't advertise them, so nobody turns up. Organise events to promote 800 years of Swaffham Market when there is actually no charter or documented evidence here or or nationally to support the idea. Allow multi-national supermarkets to build new stores that are now killing the day to day businesses in town. I could go on, but won't. No doubt someone will post to suggest I am wrong.

    Report this comment

    ToxicGasWarningSystem

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

  • Perhaps Lister should consider a new career, away from people. How about a photo of this jobsworth then EDP ?

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

  • Excuse me, 'since time immemorial'. But I agree with you Lynda.

    Report this comment

    Patrick

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

  • "She's only doing her job properly" says the Town Clerk while the jobsworth herself ducks the issue. Bad puns aside idiots like these expect us to vote for them and their kind next week. What a sad indictment on the human race. Innocent fun? Can't have that. Oh no. Tosspots.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

  • For heavens' sake. It's only a pair of ducks that generate a bit of interest in the market. It would appear, yet again, that some Councillors need to get a life instead of trying to occupy their time finding petty objections. Re. the Photoshop el dingo, perhaps you haven't noticed the thin grey line around the duck but at least Mr. Usher has managed to get the Buttercross upright for once :)

    Report this comment

    Thoreauwasright

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

  • This decision is just quackers.....

    Report this comment

    RV2008

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

  • What a complete waste of # Councillor Sheila Lister must be. I would love to know how she would deal with the very real problem that is the City pigeons.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

  • Yes, ducks make a mess, but, people have been feeding ducks since time and memorial, why can't people just leave things alone. I would prefer this so called councillor to have a word with people who spit in the street, and spit their chewing gum out all over the place, surely this is much more offensive than a couple of ducks eating their breakfast?!

    Report this comment

    Lynda

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

  • What an excellent bit of Photoshop! Love it. PS I live in Coltishall and if you asked the boaties not to feed the ducks I think there'd be a riot... and the Post Office would miss out on sales of Duck Bread big style.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

  • Was this a council request, or just a councillor being officious?

    Report this comment

    John Haseltine

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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