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24 January 2013, 06:00
East Cambridgeshire District Council has published proposals to try and prevent ducks and geese fouling Ely's Riverside area.
The Council says it receives 'a number of complaints from residents and visitors regarding the fouling of the footpaths around the Riverside' every year.
It's also claimed regularly cleaning up the mess is costing the Council too much money.
Proposals to try and prevent this happening in future include fencing off a slipway into the river to prevent birds and geese getting onto land, and developing an education plan to encourage people to feed the birds wildfowl seeds and food rather than bread.
Posters would be put up around the Riverside to explain what is happening.
Councillor Richard Hobbs, Chairman of the Community and Environment Committee at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: "For many years, the thorny subject of how to manage our duck population has been the subject of much debate in Ely and the wider world.
Many ideas have been explored over the last few years but have not provided a solution to meet the needs of all parties.
This is why over the last few months, we have been working with local groups to develop a long term plan which we want to test with the public.
The plan attempts to tackle two key issues – changing the way we feed our local wildfowl and reduce the access the birds have to the footpaths.
This is why we are looking at an education campaign to help people understand the right types of food to give to ducks and gating off the slipway by the river to reduce the ability of the wildfowl to come onto the path.
Before we go ahead with any part of this plan, we want to hear back from the public to see what they think through a consultation which will be published later this year.
So please get involved and to help us strike a balance between the needs of nature and the public on our wonderful riverside."
A consultation into these proposals is due to begin later this year.