'We got this one wrong': Council apologises to Tonbridge grandmother fined £100 for feeding ducks

Susan Watson was issued a fine for feeding the ducks in the River Medway. Credit: ITV Meridian

A Tonbridge nurse says she was left in shock after being issued with a £100 fine for feeding the ducks in the River Medway.

Susan Watson, 68, from Lavender Hill decided to stop and throw a piece of bread for the ducks as she walked along a path, which stretches from Strawberry Vale to Tonbridge High Street, next to the River Medway.

But moments later as she continued her walk, she was chased by an enforcement officer acting on behalf of the local council and issued a £150 fine.

"There's no signs anywhere to tell me I can't do it.

Susan Watson said she was told she was contaminating the environment

"When he said it was £150 I nearly fell over.

"I think I was in shock, because I'm not usually quiet, and I just took the piece of paper off him and put it in my pocket.

"I walked round the town, thinking I don't believe it.

"I popped into the local butchers and told him and he couldn't believe it either. He said he was going to call his wife to tell her as she also feeds the ducks."

Susan Watson paid the fine which was reduced to £100, before the council apologised and refunded her money. Credit: ITV Meridian

Susan told ITV Meridian she paid the fine of £100 so that it didn't increase, but began to question the situation.

She then chose to ring the council to question the legislation, with a member of staff saying they didn't know anything about fines for feeding ducks.

Susan has since been refunded the fine, and received an apology from Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council.

Susan Watson says she often stops to feed the ducks in the River Medway. Credit: ITV Meridian

In a statement, a Council spokesperson said: "We got this one wrong.

"The enforcement officer from NES considered that dropping what he felt was a large amount of bread into the river justified a penalty.

"However, before this was even brought to our attention, the company had reviewed the case and come to the decision that it was not warranted.

"The penalty has already been refunded and we’d like to apologise to for the error."