‘No feeding’ signs aim to prevent spread of vermin

Published Thursday 19 March 2015

New signs are discouraging people from feeding wildlife along a river in Market Harborough in a bid to prevent the spread of vermin.

Local businesses contacted Harborough District Council raising concerns about an increase of pigeons and rats in St Mary’s Place and along a popular walkway by the River Welland known as the 'Millennium Mile'.

Despite using informal methods over the past few months, the council has now installed signs which carry a warning of a £75 fine if people continue to feed wildlife. This will be enforced.

Cllr Phil King, deputy leader for the council, said: “There is an ongoing issue with pigeons, and potentially rats, in the area which has been made significantly worse by people leaving food for the ducks. Our enforcement officers have previously asked people to stop in a polite informal manner, but the issue continues. We cannot allow this situation to worsen and so have had to adopt a regulatory approach.”

The council said it wanted to avoid an increased use of rat bait poison which can increase the risk to other wildlife in and around the river.

Cllr King added: “There is a lot of local pride in the Millennium Mile so I hope people will take notice of these signs and challenge those disregarding them.”

The council said the situation will continue to be monitored following the installation of the new signs.