Duck Decoys by Andrew Heaton


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Duck decoys – elaborate traps for catching wildfowl – were once numerous in England, especially in the extensive marshland areas of East Anglia and Somerset. The decoy consists of a pond with several arms (‘pipes’) covered with netting. Ducks would be lured into the next, often by use of a dog, and trapped by the decoyman. This book looks at the working and history of decoys, from the days when thousands of birds could be trapped in a season, through the decline in catches due to disturbance, drainage and firearms, to the last commercial operation in 1968. In brings the story up to the present day, when only four duck decoys remain in full working order, their role now changed so that birds are caught for ringing. Several disused decoys have been designated as scheduled ancient monuments, whilst others still form features of parks or nature conservation areas.

40 pages.  Mixture of black&white and colour illustrations.



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