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Town to deal with duck poo problem for a second time

PUBLISHED: 15:06 07 March 2020 | UPDATED: 15:29 07 March 2020

Swaffham Town Council will, once again, try to solve the problem of ducks messing on pavements, car parks and roads throughout its market town. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Swaffham Town Council will, once again, try to solve the problem of ducks messing on pavements, car parks and roads throughout its market town. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2015

A town council is set to deal with the issue of duck poo as businesses and residents complain of a ‘slippy car park’ and environmental health problems.

Swaffham Town Council will, once again, try to solve the problem of ducks messing on pavements, car parks and roads throughout its market town. Picture: Matthew Usher.Swaffham Town Council will, once again, try to solve the problem of ducks messing on pavements, car parks and roads throughout its market town. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Swaffham Town Council will, once again, try to solve the problem of ducks messing on pavements, car parks and roads throughout its market town.

Andrew Martin, the owner of Mother Hubbard's in Swaffham, sent an email to the Swaffham town clerk, Richard Bishop, stating his concerns about the birds on February 6.

He said: "We are having to clean the pavement every morning now, it's not so bad for my neighbours, but it is an environmental health problem for me."

The problem of ducks first became apparent in 2013, and the town council encouraged market traders to stop feeding the birds in a bid to clean its streets in 2015.

Swaffham Town Council will, once again, try to solve the problem of ducks messing on pavements, car parks and roads throughout its market town. Picture: Matthew Usher.Swaffham Town Council will, once again, try to solve the problem of ducks messing on pavements, car parks and roads throughout its market town. Picture: Matthew Usher.

In 2016 the council hired a company to remove 44 of the ducks and relocate them 12 miles away from the town, the ducks returned in 2017 and have been their since.

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In a response to the business owner, Mr Bishop said: "It is a difficult problem to resolve as people either love or hate them.

"We can't relocate them because of 'bird flu' restrictions, but we may consider some form of 'education' for the public, as we are aware that some people feed the ducks in the town centre, hence they will keep coming back."

The community of Swaffham is coming together to help those that are vulnerable. Picture: Matthew Usher.The community of Swaffham is coming together to help those that are vulnerable. Picture: Matthew Usher.

One town councillor discussed how East Cambridgeshire District Council were dealing with the same issue.

The council erected a sign on Ely's Riverside saying ducks and geese must only be fed on the water, not on the land. If people ignored this they could be prosecuted up to £2,500 for littering.

The Swaffham town councillor quoted the East Cambridgeshire District Council's spokesperson, who said: "What we are doing is encouraging people to feed ducks responsibly on the water, in the bird's natural environment, rather than on the pavement.

"Considerable research in other areas of the country indicates this is the best way to address people's concerns."

Swaffham council's deputy clerk will now have a meeting with Breckland Council to discuss the issues of ducks in the town and what can be done.

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