Page last updated at 18:13 GMT, Thursday, 12 November 2009

Woman fined for feeding the ducks

Vanessa Kelly with her son, Harry
Vanessa Kelly said the ducks were eating the bread as fast as she threw it

A mother out feeding the ducks with her young son was given an on-the-spot fine by a park warden.

Vanessa Kelly was in Smethwick Hall Park, in Smethwick, West Midlands, when she was approached by the warden and given a £75 fine for littering.

The warden then told Ms Kelly her son could continue to feed the ducks as he was too young to be fined.

Sandwell Council defended the fine, saying Ms Kelly was not in a designated feeding area.

Ms Kelly was fined on Tuesday.

She said: "I just stood there in shock. £75 and for feeding the ducks?

"They were eating the bread as quick as I was throwing it."

People living nearby have made complaints about them, they feel intimidated by the large numbers of geese
Councillor Mahboob Hussain

Councillor Mahboob Hussain, the council's member for neighbourhoods and housing, said there had been so many complaints about the feeding of pigeons and waterfowl, a designated area had been created for feeding them.

He added the council had done a lot of work to warn people the designated space should be used.

"This park has a major problem with Canada geese and people living nearby have made complaints about them," he said.

"They feel intimidated by the large numbers of geese.

"We are taking this problem seriously and we are acting upon these complaints."

The penalty notice would be reduced to £50 if paid within 10 days, he added.

Ms Kelly has not yet paid the fine and said she planned to contest it.

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