The Town Council and ARK (Action for the River Kennet) both confirmed today that neither organisation are pursuing any ‘anti-duck’ strategy or are involved in any activities with the intention of reducing the number of ducks in the River Kennet.
Anna Forbes, Project Officer & Volunteer Co-ordinator for ARK said: “In Marlborough we have a rat problem. Cooper’s Meadow, The Priory and the back of Waitrose are areas where there are a lot of food scraps, including bread and this ready food source supports a healthy rat population, quite happy to snack on a duck egg or two.
“In years gone by the Kennet in Marlborough had large populations of domestic/farm escapees, including Muscovy and mandarin ducks. These were not a natural part of the ecology, and they relied on people in the town feeding them in order to survive.”
Anna’s full detailed statement as to the possible reasons for the decline in the duck population in and around the centre of Marlborough can be found here.
Marlborough.news also asked several ornithologists if there was any obvious reason and the answer always came back to availability and easy access to food, and competition from other scavenging species.
The number of ducks reported to be living in the Wild River Reserve at Stonebridge is quite healthy by comparison, so Marlborough does still have a significant duck population.
We would be keen to hear from Marlborough residents about where the ducks are currently congregating, and any pics would be welcome. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org