St Albans Council urges walkers not to feed the birds in Verulamium Park

Verulamium Park’s rangers in St Albans, Hertfordshire, have noticed a rise in the number of people ignoring public notices and feeding birds at the city park’s two artificial lakes.

Despite seeming like a harmless and fun activity to do, feeding birds damages the ecosystem.

St Albans District and City Council has reminded visitors to stop doing so immediately.

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Councillor Anthony Rowlands, Chair of the Council’s Public Realm Committee, said: “I fully understand that a small number of people think they are doing a good thing by feeding the birds.

“However, I am afraid it is simply attracting far more birds to this green space than it is designed to sustain.”

The council’s statement also explained that feeding encourages birds to settle around the park rather than follow their natural migration paths.

Food such as bread can make ducks, swans, geese and other birds ill as it contains ingredients that they cannot digest properly.

An excess of bird droppings, combined with discarded food, is adding more organic material to the already heavily silted lakes, which can lead to algal blooms.

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Algae blooms diminish water quality and lower oxygen levels, making it difficult for fish to survive.

Cllr Anthony added: “It’s great that people want to explore this wonderful park and enjoy the outdoor life, but we would ask them not to feed the birds.

“It has caused a noticeable rise in the number of birds which the park just isn’t able to cope with.”

The council is working with the Environment Agency and a number of other partners on the Revitalising the Ver project, which may benefit the water quality of Verulamium Parks’ lakes.

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HertsLive – Hemel Hempstead