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Feeding birds

Feeding the birds in your garden is valuable to conserving the numbers of birds especially during the colder months. Unfortunately rodents also like bird food so we have put together advice on how to make sure you are only feeding the birds.

There is no law to prevent the feeding of wild birds by members of the public. If you are interested in finding out the best way to feed the birds then the RSPB website (opens new window) has advice on what birds eat, when to feed them and the best ways to put out food.


The primary legislation which protects birds in the UK is the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Birds, their nests and eggs are protected by law and it is illegal to destroy or interfere with them except under licence. If you are experiencing issues with birds in your area then the RSPB website has information about deterrent options (opens new window). For further advice you can contact us using the Report a pollution problem form.

For information and guidance for householders about the feeding of seagulls, please follow the link


If you want to feed the birds in your garden but want to avoid rodents then there are a number of things you can do.

  • remove any shelter and food from your garden - rats and mice often come out at night so clearing away any food each evening will help to stop them. Make sure that there are no handy shelter points in your garden that rats and mice may want to move in to. 
  • don't put out too much food - only put out enough bird food to last a day so there is no waste food lying about. Make sure what you put out is suitable for birds and don't throw scraps and waste food out for the birds as they are unlikely to eat it but rodents probably will.
  • store your wild bird food somewhere safe and secure - rodents have strong teeth and so can bite into bags and plastic containers so make sure you use something secure like a metal container.
  • keep your bird feeding areas clean - as well as making sure old food isn't left around for rodents this will also help keep your wild birds healthy from disease.
  • keep your bins and compost areas tidy - rodents will be attracted to the rotting food so make sure you store your rubbish in a secure bin and put your bags out for collection regularly.

If you are experiencing any issues with rodent activity that you think may be related to the feeding of birds please contact us using the Pest control enquiry form.


Information about seagulls and how to avoid attracting them to streets and gardens.