Sometimes you need a cheap (or free!) afternoon out of the house and in the fresh air. Feeding the local ducks is a fun activity for everyone, so we’ve pulled together a great list of places to go, along with some top tips to turn it into a longer trip out.
Before you set off, please note it’s really important NOT TO FEED DUCKS BREAD! Bread is really bad for them and any leftovers that go mouldy is dangerous for them, nearby dogs and ruins the ponds. Here’s a list of things they LOVE to eat that are probably already in your cupboard or freezer.
👍 Sweetcorn (tinned, fresh or frozen) 👍 Frozen peas (the ducks like them defrosted remember!) 👍 Oats (not so great on a windy day) 👍 Bird seeds 👍 Lettuce or green vegetables, broken in little pieces – a task that is great fun for all toddlers
This pond is the focal point of the village and well worth a visit if you fancy a short trip out of York.
Make an afternoon of it: ⭐️ Play area 5 minutes’ walk away (Church Field Play area, Church Field, Church Lane, Haxby & Wigginton, YO32 2SF) ⭐️ Plenty of lovely coffee shops in nearby Haxby ⭐️ Visit Haxby pond too – see below
What do Mumbler’s think? “Wigginton has lots of ducks! They are sooooo friendly and walk around you. Don’t take bread. Bird seed, grapes and I think the sign says cabbage! Free parking and a few minutes from the park as well.”
🦆🦆🦆 Haxby Pond, The Village, YO32 2JJ🦆🦆🦆
This is much smaller than Wigginton and probably not quite as toddler-friendly, but pretty none the less and you do have all the shops Haxby shops nearby. The pond is opposite the church.
What do Mumblers think? “It’s only a little one, opposite the vets and Methodist church. Not far from Cottage pub!”
🦆🦆🦆 Rawcliffe Lake, Oakdale Road, Rawcliffe and Clifton Without, YO30 4YL🦆🦆🦆
There are a few entrances to the lake but the easiest one to find if you’ve not been before is opposite Lakeside Primary School. The lake is really large and very peaceful, so well worth having a walk all the way around.
Make an afternoon of it: ⭐️ Walk, scoot or bike around the lake (takes about 15 minutes) ⭐️ Visit the small play area by Clifton Moor Church & Community Centre (5-minute walk from the lake – Rivelin Way) or Rawcliffe Pavilion (exit at the top of the lake close to CWR school – St Mark’s Grove) ⭐️ Pop to Clifton Moor – treat yourself to a coffee!
What do Mumbler’s think?“Rawcliffe Lake is lovely – we take bird seed and they love it!”
“Rawcliffe Lake is nice & you can park virtually outside on road if you drive down Beaverdyke.”
“Rawcliffe Lake is lovely too with plenty of ducks & Canada Geese at the moment. You can walk all the way round the lake.”
🦆🦆🦆 Millennium Green, Church Lane, Nether Poppleton, York, YO26 6LF 🦆🦆🦆
This is a 5-acre field, with a pond and a flat buggy/toddler-friendly walk
Make an afternoon of it: ⭐️Enjoy the circular walk ⭐️ Build a den ⭐️ See if you can spot any trains! ⭐️ Visit the Poppleton Centre (5-minute drive) which has a nice café & small play area
What do Mumbler’s think?“Poppleton is good! There’s a lovely duck pond and walk in Poppleton at the millennium gardens, ducks are so friendly and the walk is really toddler friendly.”
The pond is surrounded by meadow grassland and scrub woodland. There is a short trail past the pond which leads to a small woodland area which even has a little den in there.
Make an afternoon of it: ⭐️Enjoy a drink & snack in Love to Eat opposite the pond ⭐️Visit Woodthorpe Green play area (10-minute walk)
What do Mumbler’s think?“Chapman’s pond in Woodthorpe near a lovely cafe – Love to Eat. The ponds are usually bursting with ducks and geese… and a family of swans.”
Here are some more ideas of places to feed the ducks that are further afield, also recommended by some very helpful Mumblers!
🦆 Stillington, turn left at the junction with Wiggington road towards Easingwold and it’s just on the way out of the village with a white fence.
🦆 Knaresborough down by the river is lovely for feeding ducks too.
🦆 Fairburn Ings RSPB nature reserve. Not expensive to get in just a car parking charge. They sell duck food there too. Nice pushchair friendly circular route to walk once you’ve fed the ducks on the water.
🦆 We like Askham Bryan and Askham Richard ponds if you want to head a little way out of York.
🦆 Newburgh Priory, parking just off the road. Perfect spot!
🦆 Allerthorpe Lakeland Park near Pocklington is good. Lots of ducks, cafe, playground, a few horses…
🦆 Wetherby is nice, why not get chips from the whaler and feed the ducks under the bridge!
🦆At Bishop Burton, there’s a large duck pond which is lovely, always loads of ducks. You can park opposite and if you have a little wonder there’s a lovely little playground tucked away round the back near the village hall.
🦆 Have we missed anywhere? If you know of any great spots where you can feed ducks in York then let us know by sending us an email.🦆