WITH the arrival of new ducklings and goslings at Kings Pond, Alton Town Council has commissioned new timber signs to highlight the importance of not feeding bread to the wildfowl and directing people to more healthy alternatives.

The signs have been crafted by wood sculptor Jonnah Cleaver and have been chosen to complement the natural surroundings, some taking the form of ducks.

They have been installed near the various feeding stations at the pond.

The town council initiative came to fruition in consultation with the RSPCA whose representative, support adviser (wildlife) Ben Andrew, said: “The feeding of bread to ducks, swans, geese and other wildfowl is not advisable when other food sources are available. If a bird is mainly fed on a diet of bread this can cause problems with regard to its health. We aren’t saying that bread is bad, but it can be bad if fed in large quantities over a long period of time.

“All measures should be taken to allow wildfowl to feed on naturally occurring food, but if people want to feed them ideally they should choose alternative food items such as bird seed, lettuce, sweetcorn, rice, peas, and porridge oats. Specialist duck and swan food is also available to buy.”