‘Don’t feed the ducks’ message being ignored

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PEOPLE are continuing to feed the ducks in Hemel Hempstead’s Water Gardens despite signs asking them to stop.

The signs went up around a month ago as part of efforts to clear up the area but they are being ignored.

Councillor Julie Laws, cabinet member for environment at Dacorum Borough Council, said: “We put some signage up there to ask people not to feed the ducks because it’s damaging them.

“Unfortunately it’s continuing. When we have been up there people are still feeding them.

“We would appreciate it if members of the public would take notice of the signs and not feed them because it’s damaging their health.”

The new policy is part of work to restore the Water Gardens and architectural firm HTA has been appointed to draw up plans and prepare a bid for Lottery cash.

The firm’s website states: “We believe in harnessing nature to provide value, to create a truly symbiotic relationship between people and nature, sustaining bio-diversity at the same time as increasing amenity and enjoyment for people.”

In a statement the council said: “Cabinet has agreed that we should prepare a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore the Water Gardens. We have appointed HTA to prepare this bid and prepare draft plans and designs for the Water Gardens restoration.

“Cabinet will consider the content of the initial bid at its meeting on July 24. If our bid is succesful we will hear whether we have been awarded funds to restore and improve the gardens by December 2013. After that point, we will look to appoint contractors to carry out the work.”

Last year eminent landscape architects were highly critical of the dilapidated state of the Geoffrey Jellicoe-designed gardens.