Keep ducks and yourself healthy this winter

The Canal and River Trust, which looks after the Pocklington Canal, is urging the public to head down to their local canal, grab some fresh air and help our feathered friends this winter by feeding them.
The Canal and River Trust, which looks after the Pocklington Canal, is urging the public to head down to their local canal, grab some fresh air and help our feathered friends this winter by feeding them.

As the nation braces itself for the cold weather and shorter days so do the hundreds of thousands of ducks who live on the waterways cared for by the Canal and River Trust.

The Trust, which looks after the Pocklington Canal, is urging the public to head down to the waterway, grab some fresh air and help our feathered friends this winter by feeding them.

It is reminding people to feed the birds responsibly by swapping white bread for healthier treats.

Uneaten soggy bread can cause a build-up of bad nutrients which can lead to greater algae growth, spread disease and encourage pests such as rats. Throwing bread into a canal can also create overcrowding of bird populations, as the birds will flock to the same location in search of their starchy treat.

Peter Birch, national environment policy advisor for the trust, said: “Bread’s not great for a duck’s health as it’s nothing like their natural diet. Try to vary what you give them and swap it for healthier more natural treats like oats, corn, defrosted frozen peas or cut up leftover veg.”

Visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/duck-guide to download a free guide on how to care for our feathered friends.