‘A duck is the best judge’ – feathers fly over lack of birds in Cleadon pond

WADING IN... Coun Jeff Milburn in Cleadon Village pond
WADING IN... Coun Jeff Milburn in Cleadon Village pond
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FEATHERS were ruffled after a South Tyneside councillor claimed a village pond is so dirty no ducks want to swim there.

Coun Jeff Milburn says the state of Cleadon Village’s pond is putting off ducks from splashing about.

Coun Jeff Milburn

Coun Jeff Milburn

The Tory representative, who went into the pond last week to clear out rubbish, says that, just a few miles away, there’s scores of ducks swimming in Whitburn Village’s ‘clean’ pond.

However, fellow Cleadon and East Boldon councillor, Labour’s Margaret Melling, believes Coun Milburn should keep out of the pond and claims he could be damaging wildlife .

She also says the pond will be transformed in the very near future.

She claims the lacks of ducks is due to a number of duckling broods being sucked down a drain–- which now has a safety grid over it.

Coun Melling, a member of Cleadon In Bloom, which has the lease of the pond, said: “A lot of work is being done at the moment to transform this pond in the near future, hopefully with the aid of grants which we are applying for. But things do take time.

“It’s taken us three years to work out who the pond actually belongs to. The History Society had no records of it but, eventually, we found out it was owned by the Church Commissioners, who have leased it to us.

“We’ve recently had experts looking at the pond and there are two species of newts living in there, and we do have ducks. Unfortunately, when the water levels rose earlier this year, several broods of the poor little ducklings ended up down a drain, which we have now placed a grid over.

“I think Coun Milburn should stay out of the pond, because he could be doing more harm than good when he’s wading about in the water.”

But a determined Coun Milburn is adamant that if the waters were cleaner there would be more feathery friends there.

He said: “The pond is just stinky. That’s why the ducks don’t want to be there.

“I think a duck is the best judge of the quality of water, after all, they’re the experts.

“This pond needs to be sorted.

“It’s the focal point of the village and it’s a mess.”

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