The reason was “a safety concern” as there was “a high number of people cycling and the ducks often walk out in front of them”. One of the applicants for a licence to destroy the eggs claimed that the mallard population had risen dramatically and that the birds congregated around seating areas. The faeces and the risk of a collision with cyclists were thought to be a problem.
Naturally, this caused an uproar both in and outside the cycling community. The public branded the decision “lunacy” and the reasoning “idiotic”. Documents seen by the Independent suggest the egg-wrecking happens at a site in Bedfordshire and another site in Suffolk. In 2017-18, Natural England gave the green light to wreck 2,000 mallard eggs and 300 geese eggs in Suffolk, according to the papers.
Mr Endfield, leader of a campaign to reform Natural England’s licensing system, wrote: “I am struggling to find the words to express my disbelief and despair that Natural England decision-makers thought it appropriate in any way to issue a licence to an applicant that seriously considered ducks to be a threat to cyclists. Surely someone at the agency should have challenged this stupidity at an early stage rather than proceed to issue a licence that legitimised the wanton destruction of wild birds eggs for such spurious reasons.”
What do you think about the situation? Have you ever been threatened by a duck?