Animal lover’s heartbreak as family of ducklings fall down cavern at Derbyshire beauty spot

Ducklings rescue at Ford Pond, Ridgeway.
Ducklings rescue at Ford Pond, Ridgeway.

A ‘heartbroken’ animal-lover has accused the authorities of ‘neglecting’ the wildfowl at a Derbyshire beauty spot.

Pensioner Heather Wright says North East Derbyshire District Council isn’t fulfilling its ‘duty of care’ for the animals at Ford Pond near Ridgeway.

Ducklings rescue at Ford Pond, Ridgeway.

Ducklings rescue at Ford Pond, Ridgeway.

She says ‘whole families’ of ducklings fall into an overflow cavern at the pond and - unless they are rescued by the RSPCA or fire brigade - they die.

She said: “I have been going for walks at the pond for many years and am a great lover of the wildlife found in this area. I just want the ducklings to be protected.

“Today I had yet again to call the RSPCA because a whole family had gone overboard – however, they are now all dead and the mother has given up. It is heart breaking to see this happen.

“The fire brigade do a wonderful job at rescuing the ducklings – but what a waste of taxpayers money when all that is needed is a small metal grill.”

Ducklings rescue at Ford Pond, Ridgeway.

Ducklings rescue at Ford Pond, Ridgeway.

Heather says she first raised the issue with North East Derbyshire District Council in 2014.

At that stage Councillor Michael Gordon promised that a metal grill would be installed to put a stop the needless deaths.

However, she was then told the local fisherman did not want the grill because it would collect unwanted litter which they would have to clear up.

“At the moment the rubbish goes over with the water and collects in the cavern - making it a refuse dump - and the ducklings continue to die,” said Heather.

Ducklings rescue at Ford Pond, Ridgeway.

Ducklings rescue at Ford Pond, Ridgeway.

She added that recently the fisherman have had a fence put up to keep away members of the public and their dogs, meaning that for the first time members of the public cannot get to the pond from the car park to feed the ducks.

“Why is it that the Council takes heed of the fishermen’s requests but have no care whatsoever for the dead ducklings,” she said.

North East Derbyshire District Council’s cabinet member for the environment, Councillor Michael Gordon, said: “This is a terrible situation and we’ve been looking at the best way to reduce the risks to ducklings on the pond, whilst also not creating a flood problem in the area.

“We have now installed a grill on the outlet that will help protect the ducklings from entering the outlet and causing them any further distress whilst also preventing debris restricting the water flow into the River Moss.”