A sign is to go up at Harlands Pond, Ridgewood, to dissuade people from feeding the ducks.
Uckfield town councillors have been told that ducks are being fed by a local resident/s – they were even crossing the road to be fed – and there is concern this could “pollute the pond, especially as their natural diet is being supplemented by processed foods”.
A report went to a meeting of the council’s environment and leisure committee on Tuesday saying ground staff had confirmed the ducks were being fed but they were unsure what effect this would have on the pond.
The council commissioned a report from ecologist Dr Martyn Stenning who concluded that if the natural balance of the pond was disturbed through human intervention this may jeopardise the survival of some organisms.
He said in his report: “There is evidence that there may have been some kind of pollution incident in recent weeks as the biodiversity within the pond was rather low and there were two dead frogs without apparent injury in the water.”
Dr Stenning advised: “Management should focus on regular monitoring and dissuading the public from interfering with the pond.
“This interference may take the form of feeding the ducks and other animals associated with the pond and the introduction of fish or any other animals or plants, at least without consulting a council authority first.”
Cllr Donna French said she could understand why bread shouldn’t be fed to the ducks but this was quite a tradition and it was a shame people were not going to be able to do it.
She asked whether thinking caps could be put on to come up with something else for children to do at the pond, perhaps an “I spy for children”.
Assistant town clerk Christine Wheatley said there was currently a sign at the pond showing what could be seen at different times of the year but she would ask the ranger if he could come up with anything.