“The Feed Ducks Initiative | Partnering with Councils to Make Duck Feeding More Sustainable in Public Parks”

In a heartening development for environmental enthusiasts, parks managers and local communities, The Feed Ducks Initiative has emerged as a shining example of how you can blend sustainable eco-friendly practices with community engagement and sustained funding.

The Feed Ducks Initiative, founded in 2021, is making waves by not only addressing the challenges of managing the public feeding ducks in parks but also providing a much needed funding stream for local volunteer groups committed to bolstering biodiversity and enhancing their park habitats.

Since its launch, the initiative has gained widespread acceptance in parks. Partnering with over 45 councils across the UK, the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands.

They are bringing their eco-friendly, solar powered, contactless duck food dispensers free of charge to parks. The dispensers provide smaller quantities of healthy- seed for the public to use as an alternative to feeding bread that is currently being fed in large unsustainable quantities. They have been able to reduce overfeeding levels by up to 78% and subsequently reduce the negative environmental impacts that it brings. Whilst also raising over £30,000 for local parks volunteer groups within the past year.

Recently The Feed Ducks Initiative also announced a partnership with Visitor Data Analytics provider Place Informatics.  Place Informatics, a leading provider of visitor data analytics, provides unique insights into foot traffic patterns and visitor behaviour in parks and green spaces.

This collaboration has been able to leverage cutting-edge visitor data analytics in Parks to understand park visitor behaviour and measure the impact that their Duck Feeders have had at reducing overall bread feeding, littering and their ability to increase family footfall to utilize park spaces in a better way.

The most recent study analyzed 18 parks over 12 months accounting over 22,000,000 visitors and found that

  • 8% of park visitors that fed ducks utilized cafe facilities that already sold Duck Food
  • 92% of park visitors that fed ducks brought their own feed from home before introducing a duck feeder.
  • After introducing the The Feed Ducks Initiative 85% of park duck feeders utilized the dispenser provided on site, reducing overall bread feeding and litter waste levels from duck feeding by 78%.

This data has been further backed up by parks officials.

Jack Bowen – Countryside & Parks Ranger – Rochdale Borough Council stated

“Since people stopped feeding with bread and started using the feeder, the water quality has gone up 10 fold in the lake. The water used to be murky and now has become crystal clear.  We have also seen a big impact on littering too. What were not having now, which we see at other sites, is scrunched up muffin bags and bread bags dumped in trees, they used to be dumped on the benches or on the floor but now the litter from the bread has significantly decreased”

 Joshua Childs – Parks & Countryside Biodiversity Officer – Basildon Borough Council stated

“We have seen a reduction in the ‘duck feeding waste’ e.g., plastic bread bags, piles of food in our parks since the feeder has been put in”.

An ongoing water quality monitoring study between EA and The Angling Trust has also showed that in Mote Park the phosphate levels have decreased from 0.12ppm to 0.0   ppm and nitrate levels have also decreased from 0.5 ppm to 0.0ppm in the space of a year. It is known that both phosphate and nitrate concentrations play a significant role in water degradation and algae blooms.

Outside of their positive environmental impact The Initiative now provides funding for dozens of friends of park and local ecological volunteer groups. Raising over £30,000 for local community groups since inception. This funding has helped local community groups improve their park spaces from flower bed restoration, tree planting, to duck and wildfowl sanctuaries to help parks develop a biodiversity net gain outcome.

Some Key Facts About The Feed Ducks Initiative are:

  1. It is free to bring to a park and it is fully maintained by their Initiative, there is no cost or time commitment required by the council.
  2. The dispenser is solar powered so it can be placed entirely off grid.
  3. It accepts contactless payments only, no cash is ever taken or stored in the device.
  4. The feeder provides education to the public, each dispenser contains a QR code that the public can scan and it will take them to a webpage built for each park containing fun facts about the park and its wildlife, including information on how the public can engage with wildlife in a sustainable way.
  5. The feed is dispensed into a tray that is scooped out by hand so there is no packaging involved whatsoever.
  6. Each unit is made from 100% recycled plastics recycling the equivalent of 20,000 plastic bottles.

The Key Environmental Benefits include

  1. Reduced bread feeding and incorrect feeding practices.
  2. Reduced littering from waste packaging.
  3. Improved water quality due to less rotting uneaten food dumped into the water causing silt build ups and algae blooms.
  4. Reduced vermin populations by water bodies as less food is left to rot (uneaten) by the water’s edge.
  5. Improved nutrition of wildfowl in public parks

They also partner with community volunteer groups who express interest to look after the dispenser and will provide additional funding to the groups in return for this.

To see how it works there is a video here:


To find out more information or if you wish to bring the Initiative to your Parks you can contact them through their website in the link below:


Matthew Knight founder The Feed Ducks Initiative, solar powered, contactless duck feed dispenser which are made of Recycled plastics recycling the equivalent of 20,000 plastic bottles per dispenser, pictured at the Carrigaline Duck Pond, Co. Cork.
Picture Clare Keogh
Matthew Knight founder The Feed Ducks Initiative, solar powered, contactless duck feed dispenser which are made of Recycled plastics recycling the equivalent of 20,000 plastic bottles per dispenser, pictured at the Carrigaline Duck Pond, Co. Cork.
Picture Clare Keogh