Grandmother, 68, fined £100 for 'littering' when she fed ducks with slice of bread

7 February 2023, 16:31

Hyde Park visitors are told not to feed ducks
Hyde Park visitors are told not to feed ducks. Picture: Alamy

By Adam Solomons

A 68-year-old grandmother and dementia nurse was chased down the street by an enforcement officer and fined £100 for feeding ducks at her local park.

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Susan Watson, 68, handed a group of ducks a piece of bread while walking along a riverside path in Tonbridge, Kent.

But a council enforcement officer appeared and ran down the path to hand the Ms Watson a long receipt with a £150 fine.

The stunned grandmother agreed to pay it, which meant it was only £100.

But after reflecting on the incident, she phoned the council and was told by her call handler that they didn't know the fine for feeding ducks.

A duck eats bread
A duck eats bread. Picture: Alamy

She told ITV Meridian: "When he said it was £150 I nearly fell over.

"I think I was in shock, because I'm not usually quiet, and I just took the piece of paper off him and put it in my pocket.

"I walked round the town, thinking I don't believe it.

"I popped into the local butchers and told him and he couldn't believe it either. He said he was going to call his wife to tell her as she also feeds the ducks."

Littering carries hefty fines at most parks in Britain
Littering carries hefty fines at most parks in Britain. Picture: Alamy

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council admitted the error and refunded Ms Watson the full amount.

It said: "We got this one wrong.

"The enforcement officer considered that dropping what he felt was a large amount of bread into the river justified a penalty.

"However, before this was even brought to our attention, the company had reviewed the case and come to the decision that it was not warranted.

"The penalty has already been refunded and we’d like to apologise to for the error."

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