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PHOTO GALLERY: Bird lovers told not to feed the ducks at Thorpe St Andrew

PUBLISHED: 14:13 09 February 2011 | UPDATED: 15:55 09 February 2011

Feeding the geese, ducks and pigeons at Thorpe St Andrew Green which is being discouraged by the town council as the land is becoming damaged.

Feeding the geese, ducks and pigeons at Thorpe St Andrew Green which is being discouraged by the town council as the land is becoming damaged.

©Archant Photographic 2011

Bird feeders have had their feathers ruffled by plans stop them throwing food and grain on Thorpe St Andrew River Green.

Councillors could attempt to impose a bylaw on the much-loved riverside spot, near Norwich, as they say the grass and tree roots are being destroyed by vast swathes of pecking geese, ducks and doves.

But wildlife enthusiasts, who regularly feed the birds, say it is a long tradition, they are not doing any damage and are, in fact, helping the birds.

Pat Woods, who is in her early 50s, lives at nearby Richmond Court, in Yarmouth Road. She said she goes out to feed the birds as much as she can.

“Bird feeding has been going on for years and years and years and lots of families come down and that’s what they enjoy. They get enjoyment from feeding the birds. It is a bit like a sanctuary,” she said.

She said the birds were not doing any harm and that recent improvements to the green had actually made it worse and some grass had disappeared.

Adam Goodrum, 29, of Yarmouth Road, was feeding the birds yesterday.

He said: “They are the main attraction here. Lots of families with kids come and feed the ducks. It has been such a harsh winter; if it hadn’t been for people feeding them, they would have suffered. On a nice day like this, you think ‘I’ll go for a walk and feed the ducks’. The council should find better things to worry about than feeding the birds.”

He said that the doves would not be able to get the feed if it were thrown on the water.

Last year, the council spent £60,000 building a bus shelter and a flag pole, and creating disabled access to the green. They are now hoping to plant grass seed.

They are advising people who want to feed the birds at the River Green to drop food in the river rather than on the ground.

Town councillor Eleanor Laming said that they wanted a “dialogue” with the bird feeders, but if they did not see an improvement in the future, they would consider a bylaw.

“It’s better to have a dialogue with people and try to reach some sort of compromise”, she said.

“We have spent an awful lot of money improving the river green.

“We would like it to look nice for everybody when they come.

“It think their intention is as nature lovers, but since there are other areas within a short distance, particularly in the marshes, that are more appropriate for the birds to live, we would encourage them to go there.”

Fellow councillor Ian Mackie added that it was not about restricting families coming to feed the birds. “Everybody has done that in their time. It’s about people not feeding the birds on an industrial scale”, he said.

What do you think? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

22 comments

  • Totally agree with you Cityboy!

    Report this comment

    Sarah van der Steeg

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

  • This is disgraceful, I take my 2 yr there often and she loves feeding the ducks. Its a tradition that I grew up with from my parents and that I am now pleased I can carry on with my own child. And as for a small fence, that impractical for people mounting the shore from boats that moor there and incidentally when I take my daughter there is is my job to keep an eye on her that she doesn't fall in in!

    Report this comment

    Donna Edwards

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

  • Perhaps they would prefer it if people picked up the ducks by their necks and threw them around as in yesterday's news item. That would prevent them pecking I suppose.

    Report this comment

    jo burton

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

  • To Donna, Nick and Jim.....Please look up sarcasm in your dictionary. Oh and Nick what would you like to be called..Boat dwellers???

    Report this comment

    PINKDEADHUNTER

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

  • Thorpe St Andrew Town Council have made a catalogue of errors with their supposed 'refurbishment' of River Green. The whole thing has been a shambles from start to finish, and now to ostracise those who feed the birds here is just going to make them a laughing stock. I live on a boat at River Green and have sat and watched the comedy unfold with incompetent workmen and the ridiculous design of the green implemented with a mixture of amusement and the serious side of seeing public money wasted in such a fashion from people hell-bent on looking for credit for transforming the area. Unfortunately they have implemented a flawed design, and managed to upset the tree protection people and residents of River Green amongst others. what a fine example of local democracy....ha ha!

    Report this comment

    Nick South

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

  • Whole roast Thorpe duck is delicious on its own but a marmalade glaze raises it to a whole new dimension and makes a nice change to the more traditional roast chicken on a Sunday lunch. Serve with all the same accompaniments that you would normally, and enjoy.

    Report this comment

    The Mardler

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

  • If there is a problem with the waterfowl paddling up the grass then the council could lay a layer of bark chippings which could be renewed at intervals to prevent disease Tree roots could be protected with permeable matting. There is a way around most things and if people enjoy feeding the birds it would keep the place looking better . Can't say much for the health of the birds though, if they are living on a diet of white bread. Maybe a concession selling the correct type of bird food could be arranged and the holder look after the patch of green.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

  • If Thorpe St Andrew Town Council wants bird feeders to put food in the river and not on the grass my I suggest they install barriers along the waters edge to protect small children slipping and falling in......Oh hang on they cant cos of the house boat people

    Report this comment

    PINKDEADHUNTER

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

  • We all understand sarcasm and you can call us what you like, but the attitude coming from your post suggested you considered the likes of me an imposition. If I misjudged your attitude I apologise, but we are frequently misjudged.

    Report this comment

    Nick South

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

  • Odd is'nt it Waitrose are to finish receiving Ducks from the company whose employees mis-treated the birds,when there are plentifull organic Ducks at Thorpe and many other places, These seemingly wild birds could be culled to keep their numbers down,and create organic food for human consumption

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

  • Just another example of what happens when people become councillors. They forget that they are there to serve us the public and start to dictate. Well folks remember there names 'cos you can remind them of this fact come election time. People will always feed the birds, be they sparows or ducks and as this is actually near the river perhaps these spoilsport Councillors should have taken this into concideration when planning the redevelopment of the Green!

    Report this comment

    City Boy

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

  • Just Quackers!

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    John L Norton

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

  • For goodness sake, i grew up in Thorpe and feeding the birds was a huge part of my childhood, it still is and im now 47. People talk of how bad all these electronic gadgets and gizmos are and how it is killing family interaction, and now it looks like yet another activity that can be done with a family is trying to be discouraged. There is a recreational ground the opposite side of Thorpe St Andrew that just might be too far away for grandparents who live nearer the Green to travel or walk to. As for barriers near the waters edge!!!!!!!!! well one would assume that while you have your childrengrand children there you are actually watching them and making sure they dont stray too near the edge. For years and years there was (and maybe still is) a problem with the public toilets at River Green. Dont ruin an age old tradition please.

    Report this comment

    melalmighty

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

  • "as they say the grass and tree roots are being destroyed by vast swathes of pecking geese, ducks and doves" Marvelous really isn't it, one minute a Council will refuse planning permission for new housing because there's a great crested Nest or some other species living there but here we have a council that want rids of the ducks so the area 'looks pretty', double standards or what? So what if the tree roots suffer a bit of damage, thats nature isn't it, surely the ducks are more important?!

    Report this comment

    catalonia13

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

  • Thorpe St Andrew Town Council have implemented a deeply flawed scheme to supposedly 'improve' River Green from start to whenever the finish is supposed to be. It's a mess, and access is so restricted to the river that it will get to be more of a mess as people struggle to climb up the muddy banks. The whole thing is an expensive joke, and they've managed to up set quite a few people along the way i.e. the tree preservation people, and they seem to have grasped yet another chance to leave themselves open to ridicule with this latest move. i bet they thought they would be puffing their chests out and taking the credit for rejuvenating River Green, but it looks like it's all blowing up in their faces. Hooray for local democracy!

    Report this comment

    Nick South

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

  • In my 50s now ,I grew up in Thorpe and fed the ducks when I was younger and so did my son etc etc. There should be a byelaw to stop the power hungry councillors from interferring

    Report this comment

    Jim Drewery

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

  • where would I find all the names of the concillors who haveare voting for this idea, can they be posted on here so I know who not to vote for next time around

    Report this comment

    Jim Drewery

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

  • Totally agree with City Boy, also, strange that they are so concerned about the tree roots at the River Green yet are happy to see Belmore Plantation destroyed. It wouldn't be because of backhanders from developers would it?

    Report this comment

    Adam L

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

  • "I suggest they install barriers along the waters edge to protect small children slipping and falling in......Oh hang on they cant cos of the house boat people" That would look lovely wouldn't it. While we're at it let's fence in every river in the country in the name of health and safety. Access to the beach should be restricted too. as for the 'house boat people' as you so charmingly describe us, well, I think you will find that we could argue that one all day, but without us here the Island would be an unregulated dangerous mess, complete with resident river gypsies. Hell Island!

    Report this comment

    Nick South

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

  • For those advocating a fence along side the river are just as bad as the councillors

    Report this comment

    Jim Drewery

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

  • why spoil peoples pleasure by stopping them from doing something which is free out in the open air and helping wildlife to survive much healthier then sitting around gettting obese like 25% of the population plus teaches children to respect the duck unlike the mindless employees at Hingham duck farm

    Report this comment

    mercury

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

  • If i want to take my children to feed the ducks i will I dont care about there silly little bylaws or their childish threats i was born and bread in norwich and all Ive seen over the last decayed from councils and officials is dont do this dont do that why dont you get back to your job and help communities instead of laying down silly little power obsessed laws and hassle every one because You ! dont like to see people enjoying them-selfs I dont much like you but i wouldn't try to make it law you sad sad pumped up power seekers, oh by the way i forgot to mention a meter in from the banks of any tidle river is classed as common land so before you go spending our hard earned cash on legal cost the law is already in our favor

    Report this comment

    publiceye

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

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

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