The Green is used for Fairs, Circuses, charity and community events. It is split in two by the A342 Andover Road and for reasons which become clear when you visit are called the Large Green and Small Green.
The Crammer & Moonraker Legend
Perhaps the most famous local legend is that of the Moonrakers, which is reputed to have taken place at the Crammer (the town’s pond) .
The story goes that a group of Wiltshire smugglers heard the Excise Men approaching the town, therefore they had to quickly conceal the contraband brandy they were carrying by rolling the barrels into the Crammer. Once the Excise Men had passed, the smugglers needed to recover the barrels using a rake. The Excise Man were suspicious and therefore came back to take a second look. Catching the men with rakes they demanded to know what they were doing.
Not being stupid, one pointed to the reflection of the moon in the water and said that they were trying to rake out the cheese from the water. The Excise Men left, laughing at how stupid Devizes people can be. However it was the smugglers who had the loudest laugh as their quick thinking had stopped them being caught. To this day, Wiltshire people are known as ‘Moonrakers’.
Please do not feed the Ducks and Swans
There is quite a lot of wildlife which make the Crammer their home; however, we ask that you do not feed bread to the ducks, swans or the geese as this can create many problems for birds and the environment.
Five reasons why bread is bad…
- Ducks need a varied diet to be healthy, bread doesn’t have much nutritional value and fills ducks up so they don’t forage for foods they would naturally eat, which can lead to malnutrition.
- Uneaten soggy bread can cause a build-up of bad nutrients which can lead to greater algal growth, spread disease and encourage pests such as rats.
- Throwing bread into a canal or river can create overcrowding of bird populations, as the birds will flock to the same location in search of their starchy treat.
- Too many ducks or waterfowl in one place can stress the birds and lead to their habitats being damaged.
- Tt also creates excessive amounts of bird droppings which, along with being smelly and slippery underfoot, can reduce water quality and clog waterways with harmful algae
So, what can you feed ducks?
- Sweetcorn – It turns out that ducks are quite partial to a sweetcorn. Tinned, frozen or fresh! Obviously, remove them from the tin first.
- Lettuce – As a nation we’re guilty of throwing away a vast amount of lettuce, especially the bagged variety. Instead of consigning it to the bin, rip it into pieces and treat your local ducks. Rocket, Kale and Iceberg are all great choices.
- Frozen peas – There’s no need to cook them but make sure you defrost them first!
- Oats – rolled oats and even instant porridge oats will be a huge hit with ducks.
- Seeds – Whether you buy bird seed or seeds from the healthy aisle in the supermarket – the ducks will be very grateful for these nutritious nibbles.
For your free guide from the Canal and Rivers Trust, click the link below.