WILDLIFE bosses have called for a ban on feeding the Moor pool’s fish and ducks with bread amid fears that the extra food will kill them.

Town councillors have been in talks with Natural England, Cheshire Wildlife Trust and the Environment Agency for the past 18 months in a bid to avoid a repeat of the scenes in 2009 that saw more than 3,000 fish die in the pool due to a lack of oxygen in the water.

That was partly blamed on the overgrowth of the reed beds but now the Cheshire Wildlife Trust has called for families to stop feeding bread to the ducks and fish as this will affect the oxygen levels in the water, which will result in the fish being killed off.

The spot, in the heart of Knutsford, is popular with young families throughout the year.

A popular pastime is to feed the ducks and fish but a Cheshire Wildlife Trust spokesman warned that processed foods, like bread, were not suitable for the wildlife.

“We are in detailed and ongoing discussions with both Natural England and the Environment Agency to find an effective and long-term solution to the concerns over fish health at Knutsford Moor,” he said.

“We would also urge people not to feed the ducks at the moor, as this artificial increase in nutrients only further reduces the levels of oxygen in the water – a key factor in the previous fish deaths.

“These conditions act like a fish bowl, with artificial feeding causing fish to grow bigger than would typically occur in a wild location, in turn reducing the available oxygen and making them more susceptible to natural events, like hard frosts or extreme summer temperatures.

“In addition, highly processed foods, such as bread, are not suitable for wetland birds and the habitats at the moor offer ample natural food opportunities.”

Councillors have been trying to push the trust to move some of the fish to a nearby pool, but the spokesman could not confirm when this would take place.

Do you feed the ducks and fish in the moor pool? What do you think about the call for the ban?
Email james.wilson@guardiangrp.co.uk.