At lunchtime today (Friday 17th April 2020) East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) were called out to a mum and 6 ducklings wandering around in Eden Close, Stone Cross, Eastbourne.
The mum was seen wandering off the main road into Eden Close where she found herself trapped and surrounded by houses and fences.
Four rescuer from WRAS attended in two ambulances, and they monitored her behaviour for a while before attempting to walk them to Shinewater Park. Catching mum and ducklings can be problematic, and can cause mum to abandon her young if she flies off.
“Its always difficult to know where they want to go, and you have to be very careful that you don’t just move them to the wrong location, or when your back is turned they will up and walk again. After monitoring them for a while it became clear which direction she wanted to head in, so started their 0.6 mile walk to safety” said Trevor Weeks MBE Operations Director from WRAS.
The first hurdle was trying to get them to go back out the close in the opposite direction to what they wanted to go. This was slow but eventually we made it onto Adur Drive before turning down the footpath into Adur Park and towards the railway line.
“It was amazing to see her change of pace once at the railway tunnel. She suddenly sped up running forward, clearly realising she was on the right route” said Rescuer Ellie Langridge.
Once onto Hadlow Avenue, the mum and ducklings walked along the pavement dipping in and out of front gardens clearly wanting to turn right. Which she was finally able to do once on Larkspur Drive.
“This section of the walk was going to be the most problematic as it is a bus route and the pavements aren’t very wide in places” said Ellie.
Crossing the junction with Rotherfield Avenue was difficult and cars had to be stopped whilst the made their way across.
“Once we past the Meadows Nursery School in Larkspur Drive, without prompting her to she walked straight across the grass towards the stream” said Trevor.
All the ducklings one by one following move through the vegetation, jumping of rocks and ducking under brambles to get down to the waters edge.
“It was so nice to see them in the water and in a neat little line they all weaved their way through the reeds to the safety of the water. From there she can easily and safety reach Shine Water Lake if she wants to” said Trevor.
The rescue took about approximately 45 minutes.
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