Children love the great outdoors! A trip to feed the ducks is a chance to brush off the cobwebs, burn off some steam and get some much needed fresh air; and what makes it more appealing is, it’s absolutely FREE!
PLEASE NOTE: This blog was written pre-covid. Please follow local guidelines and stay safe.
A full morning or afternoon can quite easily be spent with little to no money exchanging hands, and feeding the ducks is always a fun and popular activity when out and about. We’ve pulled together a list of our top 5 places to feed the ducks in North Leeds.
But before we move onto the list, we must stress the importance that Bread is Bad for birds! Bread is a Duck’s junk food. And any mouldy leftovers are dangerous for wildlife, and nearby dogs; it also ruins ponds. Here’s a list of things they love to eat, that are more nutritious and are probably already in your cupboard or freezer:
Grapes (cut in half to prevent choking)
Cracked corn, barley, oats, birdseed, or other grains
Frozen peas or corn kernels (defrosted first, but no need to cook)
Duck feed pellets available from farm supply stores
This popular park is renowned for its wonderful gardens, popular café and circular lakeside walk. It’s ideal for a family walk with levels paths for scooters, bikes and pushchairs. And it is a prime spot to feed the birds (as long as you don’t mind a great swarm) you will never be disappointed; come rain or shine! On this occasion, we barely made it to the water before the ducks were upon us. After we ran out of food, we opted for splashing in muddy puddles as we made our way anti-clockwise around the lake. Finishing off with a well-deserved hot chocolate for me, and babycino for mini Mumbler!
If you wanted to make a day of it, you could explore the Lavender gardens, or venture over to Paul’s Pond. Or even just veer off the path into the woodland areas to see dozens of squirrels and small birds. There are plenty of benches to have a picnic if you don’t fancy the cafe’s offering. And there is usually an Ice Cream Van in the Car Park too!
Attractions and Facilities:
Demonstration gardens and plant collections, Parkland, Lake, Woodland, Café with outdoor seating, Public toilets, Picnic areas, Footpaths, 2x Car Parks
Off Otley Road, Bramhope, Leeds LS16 8BQ
2. Meanwood Park
As our local Park, we tend to go here at least once or twice a week. It’s a great place for a walk or a quick swing and slide in the playground. There are level paths and lots of green space for ball games and riding a bike. The ducks are found near the back of the Park where there are a few feeding spots. We tend to make our way to the ducks first, walking over the stream via a number of make-shift bridges; then circle back round to the playground where there is plenty of choice for all ages.
If you want to make an afternoon of it, you could take a picnic, or enjoy some of the daily homemade treats from the café. Or you could even coincide with one of the Grass Roots Muddy Boots Forest School classes up in the woods. For our full review, click here. You can also combine it as part of a walk along the Meanwood Valley Trail if your feeling more energetic. Or you can walk up through the woods to get to the Myrtle Tavern which has a family friendly vibe and outdoor play area.
Attractions and Facilities: Meanwood Valley Trail, Meanwood Nature Reserve, Meanwood Park Café, Children’s playground, Tennis courts, Bowling green, Picnic areas, Basketball court, Café, Public Toilets, Footpaths, Car Park
Off Green Lane, Leeds LS6 4LT
3. Roundhay Park
Roundhay Park is one of the most popular parks in Leeds due to its size, grandeur and array of things to see and do. There are two lakes providing plenty of opportunity to feed ducks, swans and geese. You can easily spend hours in the park just getting from the top to the bottom. And the new Lakeside Playground, which opened last year is extremely popular with a wide variety of choice. There is usually an Ice Cream van just next to the playground. And it is closely situated to the Lakeside Café. On weekends, you can also enjoy a train ride from one side of the park to the other for £2.
If you want to make a day of it, you could take a picnic, or choose to dine in one of the cafés. Or if the weather turns, you can always venture across the road to Tropical World for a change of scene.
Attractions and Facilities: 2x Lakes, Footpaths, Parkland, Woodlands, Formal Gardens, Children’s playground, Skate park, Lakeside café, Mansion café, Park Train (weekends and BHs), 2x Car parks, On-street parking, Tropical World
Mansion Lane, off Princes Avenue, LS8 2HH
4. Tarnfield Park, Yeadon
The Tarn is a great spot for a walk. The footpath goes all the way around the Tarn, with plenty of green space and ample benches to sit down and take it all in. There are plenty of areas to stop and feed the ducks, and in our case, swans. Plus, there is a very good children’s playground near the Town Street carpark. On sunnier days, there is an Ice Cream Van located near the playground, and it’s a great place to spot planes coming in and out of Leeds/Bradford airport – we spotted two landing and one taking off!
If you wanted to make an afternoon of it, you could take a packed lunch or you can pop to Murgatroyds Fish and Chips around the corner for a cheeky takeaway. Or if the weather turns, you could always pop to Kids About Tarn which is just around the corner.
Attractions and Facilities: Tarn, Children’s playground, BMX Track, Scenic Walks, Water Sports Activities, Fishing, Picnic areas, Footpaths, 3x Car Parks
Cemetery Road, Yeadon LS19 7UR
5. Wharfemeadows Park, Otley
Lying alongside the river Wharfe, the park and gardens are the perfect place for a picnic and to feed the ducks. The play area is divided into two sections for the younger and older audiences and there is even a child friendly version of Archimedes Screw where you can wind the water up from the pool, along the screw and down the pipe to a drain at the end. In warmer months, it perfect for little ones to splash about and keep cool. There is also a BMX park, tennis courts and bowling green, and if you’re feeling very adventurous, you can take a boat out on the river.
If you wanted to make an afternoon of it, you could head into Otley town centre which is a short walk away, or take a picnic, or enjoy the fruits of the café. We chose a particularly scorching day, so enjoyed a strawberry split before the car journey home.
Attractions and Facilities: River, Children’s playground, BMX Park, Scenic Walks, Water Sports Activities, Bowling Green, Café, Picnic areas, Footpaths, Car Park
Off Farnley Lane, Otley LS21 2BH
Other Mumbler recommended options, including further afield
River Wharfe at Wetherby. Healthy duck food is sold at a nearby toy shop, signs give details by the river. It is a mixture of birdseed, oats, peas, rice and floating pellets. Bags cost only £1 for a large bag of 200g, and 20p goes to the RSPB.