Swaffham market traders told to stop feeding the ducks

Two ducks which get bird seed from a stall in Swaffham Market every Saturday are to miss out as stal

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. - Credit: Matthew Usher

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.

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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.'

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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.'

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