Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Don’t feed the ducks plea (again)

VISITORS to Widmore Pond in Sonning Common are being asked yet again not to feed the waterfowl as it attracts rats.

The parish council recently spent £7,000 on repairs to the bank after damage caused by rats.

A contractor, Cook Piling, removed all the timber which was rotten from old age and as a result of rats burrowing in the bank.

The council has been warning visitors about the problem for years and has installed signs around the pond in Widmore Lane.

In May, Vermatech Pest Control, of Kennylands Road, Sonning Common, carried out a 12-week treatment to rid the area of rats.

But a council meeting last week heard that visitors were still throwing bread and food pellets to the birds, which lured the rats.

Parish clerk Philip Collings said: “Lots of people are throwing pellets into the pond and they are getting stuck between the stones and this is proving a wonderful time for the rats.

“The feeding, ostensibly of the ducks, is causing rats to flourish and, apart from the fact that they will then be around to steal the duck eggs and ducklings next spring, they pollute the water with weil’s disease, which is a dangerous form of leptospirosis which nobody would want to catch. 

“We have to get people to go in the water to carry out repairs and we should not have into put them at risk.”

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