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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

“For two years we have been trying to keep the park bread and chapati free, but people are still not listening”

A man has been caught by volunteers repeatedly dumping rotten bread and other food items in Bradford Moor Park despite warnings that it is illegal to do so and is attracting vermin.

The man has been spotted throwing food a few times by volunteers and members of the group, Friends of Bradford Moor Park, who have been instrumental in the clean-up of the area, organising litter picks and a deep-clean of the pond in recent years.

Naz Kosar, a leading member of the Friends of Bradford Moor Park, shared photos of the man allegedly carrying out the offence earlier in the week. She said: “I don’t like posting statues like that, but people need to know that it is not okay to fly-tip, which is what it is. For the past two years, we have been working hard to keep the park bread and chapati free, but people are not listening.

Fly-tipping mouldy food can kill birds and attracts rats.

“Residents are complaining that it is people from outside the local community, driving to the park and dumping the food.

“One of the reasons people perhaps are doing it is because they think they are giving back to nature and feeding the birds but the food is often rotten and not good for them anyway. Mouldy food can kill the ducks and the birds and is attracting rats.”

Since undertaking more responsibility in managing the Friends of Bradford Moor group, which has around 1.800 members on Facebook, Ms Kosar has been active in helping educate people from the area on the importance of not leaving food out to attract “the wrong type of wildlife”.

“People who live near the park have stopped feeding the animals because they now know that despite good intentions, leaving bits of bread and naan out is actually detrimental to the park because it is attracting rats, and who wants to come to a rat-infested park?”

Ms Kosar also helps organise walking sessions and mental wellbeing groups in the park, as well as spearheading a successful campaign for a brand-new outdoor gym and play area that is to be officially launched next month.

Bread makes ducks ill and does not contain the right nutrition to keep them warm in winter.

There has also been an introduction of a sign in the park informing people on what food is okay to feed to ducks.

Rotting bread can pollute water and cause surface algae which in turn gives fish diseases, kill them, and make the water smell.

Instead, people are encouraged to give them small quantities of cut seedless grapes, cooked rice, birdseed, peas, corn, oats, and chopped lettuce.

A spokesperson for Bradford Council said: “Whilst well-intentioned, feeding birds in this way can be classified as littering and people may receive a £100 fine.

“Throwing food on the ground can promote vermin and spread disease, so please don’t do it. The best way to support birdlife is to use a bird table and clean it regularly to avoid attracting pests.

“Leftover bread can be made into various dishes or disposed of responsibly in household waste bins.”

On Halloween this Sunday, Ms Kosar is also holding a “spooky fun” treasure hunt in the park from 3pm to 6pm. Clues will be scattered throughout the park for children, with an accompanying responsible adult, to find. There will also be prizes and sweets to be found.

If residents have concerns about rats, they can report them to the council either online by telephone by calling 01274 431000.

Friends of Bradford Moor Park also hold regular clean-up sessions. For more information on how to get involved, visit the group Facebook page here.

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