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Grandmother fined for feeding ducks as she walked along river

Grandmother fined for feeding ducks as she walked along river

Susan Watson chucked some bread for the ducks in Tonbridge, Kent, before a council officer chucked her a £150 fine

A grandmother claims she was fined £150 for feeding the ducks at a local river.

It’s becoming more and more well known that chucking bread for ducks isn’t actually that good for them, because it doesn't provide them with the nutrition or calories that they need.

Still, you wouldn’t expect to be slapped with a three-figure fine for throwing them a few stale slices of a lunchtime, would you?

Well, that’s what this 68-year-old grandmother is saying happened to her the other day while she attempted to feed the ducks in a park in Kent.

Susan Watson was taking a stroll along a lovely riverside path in Tonbridge with a piece of bread in hand for the ducks, when she was approached by a council enforcement officer who told her that she was facing a £150 fine.

However, she was then told that if the fine was paid straight away there would only be a fine of £100, which still feels pretty steep for giving some bread to a bunch of ducks.

The ducks probably seemed happy enough.
Panther Media GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo

Stunned, she agreed to pay up, but has since called up the council who have told her they are not aware that there is a fine for feeding ducks.

Speaking to ITV Meridian, she said: "When he said it was £150 I nearly fell over.

"I think I was in shock, because I'm not usually quiet, and I just took the piece of paper off him and put it in my pocket.

"I walked round the town, thinking I don't believe it.

"I popped into the local butchers and told him and he couldn't believe it either.

“He said he was going to call his wife to tell her as she also feeds the ducks."

In the end, things turned out for the best, as the council admitted that there was a mistake and that the fine should never have been issued.

Susan has now been issued with a full refund and an apology.

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council said in a statement: "We got this one wrong.

"The enforcement officer considered that dropping what he felt was a large amount of bread into the river justified a penalty.

"However, before this was even brought to our attention, the company had reviewed the case and come to the decision that it was not warranted.

"The penalty has already been refunded and we’d like to apologise to for the error."

Though small amounts of bread is OK, some places ask people not to feed the ducks.
Geoff Smith/Alamy Stock Photo

That being said, it’s worth remembering that bread isn’t actually that good for ducks.

In small quantities it won’t do them any harm, but the RSPB advice says that ducks ‘just like us’ need a ‘varied diet to stay healthy’.

So, if you do want to give them something to eat, why not give them sweetcorn, porridge oats, bird seed, or some peas?

After all, everyone else is going to be giving them bread, why not give them something a bit different as a treat?

Featured Image Credit: Lee Hudson / Susan Feldberg / Alamy

Topics: UK News, Animals, Food And Drink