WALKERS have been urged not to feed ducks on the River Thames near Wolvercote as it could lead to obesity.

A letter 'written' by a duck named Desmond has been circulated to villagers explaining the bread isn't good for his diet.

Six million loaves are fed to ducks across the country each year but environmentalists have warned against the activity.

The Wolvercote Commoners group included the piece in its latest newsletter and urged readers to consider duck pellets, corn, lettuce, oats or seeds.

Desmond said: "The thing is they feed us bread which I shouldn’t really eat because it’s bad for me but I like it so will eat as much as I can.

"But too much bread can lead to obesity, malnutrition and possibly a crippling condition called ‘angel

wing’ - it means my wings don’t fold properly.

"Too much ‘free' food also encourages my ducklings to beg for food rather than forage for it as they should."

The 'happy mallard' as he described himself signed off the letter with a print of his webbed foot.