Please do not feed the birds and animals, it causes more harm than good.
We need your help to protect the wildlife of Regent’s Park. We know that one of the main reasons people love visiting the park is to experience wildlife. We understand that visitors enjoy feeding wildlife, and that for many young people this will provide their first opportunity to experience nature. But wildlife feeding is now causing more harm than good to the wildlife of the park. Although people may give only small amounts of food, the overall result of thousands of visitors is impacting the health of birds and animals, affecting the balance of our bird populations and causing damage to wildlife habitats in the park. Below are some examples of how feeding birds and animals is causing harm:
- ‘Human’ food is not good for birds and animals. They have not evolved to eat the same foods as us, and high levels of salt, sugar and other additives are likely to be as harmful for them as they are for people. It is better that they eat naturally occurring food, or that the park staff feed them the correct food only if they need it.
- Birds and other animals which have come to rely on handouts now behave unnaturally around people, putting themselves and visitors at risk. For example; birds mobbing visitors for food.
- Feeding encourages large numbers of crows and magpies which bully and prey on the song birds and water birds in the park, reducing the numbers that successfully breed there.
- Feeding the birds in summer affects the behaviour of young birds and adults, preventing the dispersal of the young to new territories and creating denser populations which can reduce successful breeding.
- High geese numbers encouraged by feeding are causing damage to the vegetation in the park, whilst high numbers of squirrels encouraged by feeding damage and kill trees.
- Surveys of our lake have identified that there is a serious issue with water quality as a result of very high nutrient levels in the water. The primary cause of this is the overly large water bird population, particularly geese, which is encouraged by feeding, as well as old food rotting in the lake. Poor water quality causes harm to the water birds, as well as other wildlife.
- As well as causing water quality issues, old food can attract rats which is not good for other wildlife or people.
We are therefore asking for your help to protect the wildlife in Regent’s Park. Please do not feed the birds or animals, and use the bins provided to dispose of your litter and old food. This way, we can ensure that you and future visitors can continue to enjoy diverse, natural and healthy wildlife within the park.