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Should we feed swanfish in Suffolk? | The latest news from Suffolk and Essex


PUBLISHED: 12:53 21 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:59 21 November 2018

Swans feeding on the Ipswich Dock

Swans feeding on the Ipswich Dock

Queen Swan Marker says the tendency not to feed bread swans has led to the report of underweight birds.

Swans at Thorpeness Mere. Photo: SARAH LUCY BROWNSwans at Thorpeness Mere. Photo: SARAH LUCY BROWN

To feed or not to feed milk? This is the debate that has gathered many titles in recent days.

The issue was brought to the fore after Mark Davier, David Barber, came into controversy, saying he believed that a campaign earlier this year called the "Ban of Bread", which is trying to discourage members of the public bread loaf of aquatic birds to encourage them to use alternatives such as sweet corn, lettuce and rice, has led to the decline of birds.

"While bread is not the best dietary option for swans compared to natural foods such as river weeds, it has become an important source of energy for them by completing their natural diet and helping them survive the cold months winter, very low, "Mr Barber said, whose observations were posted on the site of the Swan Sanctuary charity.

He added: "The Ban on Bread Campaign has already had a damaging impact on the swan's population. I receive reports of underweight Cubans and adult birds, and a number of big swans have begun to wander on the roads in search of food."

But a spokesman at the RSPB Eastern Office has warned that "excessive feeding of low-nutrition foods such as white bread may lead to vitamin deficiencies and ultimately may have adverse effects on birds" .

"Instead, we recommend feeding them with cereals such as wheat and vegetable matter, especially salad and potatoes, which have a higher nutritional value."

At Mistley in Essex, a renowned Swan community, which gathers in the green of the Stour River, founder of Swan Watch's charity, Alex Smith believes that a certain swan's bread in winter can be "beneficial," and the difference between survival and starvation.

She said: "I do not have problems with people who feed a bread in the winter, but I did not just feed their bread. We buy cereals, which is the best thing and we feed them once a day."

Swans on a common surface of snowy SudburySwans on a common surface of snowy Sudbury

Across the Thorpness Mere, East Suffolk, where over 100 swans are gathering in the summer, Ben Tibbenham at the Thorpeness and tearooms store says they sell barley bags to feed their swans.

"I love him – if I see someone with a bag, they will swim around them," he said.

"But we also have many young families who come here and feed the swans with bread – people feed them for years."

In the west of the county, Sudbury's shared lands are home to a large flock of mute swans that are seen in part by the charity of Swan Watch.

Mistley Parish Cllr Ian Tucker, Dedham Vale area of ​​remarkable natural beauty Cathy Smith and Swan Watch Alex Smith surrounded by swans in Mistley.Mistley Parish Cllr Ian Tucker, Dedham Vale area of ​​remarkable natural beauty Cathy Smith and Swan Watch Alex Smith surrounded by swans in Mistley.

Gregory the Bishop said, "Feeding white swans is not good for them in quantity because it makes them swollen. If you are going to feed the bread – the better the bread, the better it is for the swans, so it is preferring a bread with nuts and seeds on it. Ideally, you should feed on shredded salad of romaine, sweet corn, frozen peas and chopped potatoes.

"It's also important not to put food on the river on land. Swans have one and a half legs long and want to feed and take it off the river.

He added it; "For the swans, bread is comfortable food – when it is frozen and nature does not provide enough food, the bread keeps it warm and provides energy."

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