As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Council ban tie-wearing duck from collecting for charity in permit row

The popular bird, named Star, regularly dons a red dickie bow and waddles alongside his owner Barrie Hayman to raise money for sick youngsters.

Together Barrie and Star collect on average £200 a day by visiting businesses around Devon and have already raised £6,500 for a local children's hospice.

However the duo's fundraising days could be numbered after being told they must apply 28 days in advance for a single day's permit- restricting them to collecting just one day a month.

'If I was putting into my own pocket, I could understand it, but everything goes to the sick children,' explained the Bideford resident.

'If a permit covered me for a year and I was able to visit a different town each day, that would be fine, but on this basis I don't think I can carry on.'

Council officials told Mr Hayman that members of the public could find his feathered sidekick 'irritating'.

Local businesses have slammed the decision and are calling for Star to be allowed to collect money as often as possible.

'He entertains so many people. They crowd around him, and he does an amazing job,' Sally Shephard, of Blazeys Deli in Bideford, said.

'We all feel very upset because it's such an amazing charity. Everyone's in uproar.'

A North Devon District Council spokesman added: 'All he's got to do is apply for a street collection permit, which is a fairly simple process.

'Our policy is to allow one charity collection per day per parish, so that the streets aren't full of people collecting for charity, which is irritating to the public.'

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