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North Ascot residents save ducks with two new houses

Published: 11 Apr 2014 17:301 comment

NORTH Ascot residents have secured the long-term future of a family of ducks after building them two new homes.

One of the two duck houses built by residents to protect them from foxes, crows and cats.

Paige Will and Donald Spellman noticed ducklings that used Blackmoor Pond were being killed by crows and foxes and even domestic cats.

After seeing the attacks often happened while they were resting on the pond’s grass verge or wandering near neighbouring houses, the pair decided to build two new duck houses to offer them extra protection.

Mr Spellman built the two houses using broken wooden pallettes, insulation boards and roofing felt, and anchored them in the middle of the pond last month. Since they were installed, residents have seen the birds use the houses as nesting grounds or for resting at night.

After a tentative start the houses are begin used more and more regularly by the ducks, with mothers using them to protect their ducklings.

Mr Spellman said: “It is great to see it being so well used since I put the houses in the pond.

“I am hoping that the next generation of ducklings will use it for nesting in future as well.

“It provides them a safe haven away from the crows and foxes who seem to like snatching them off the ground and eating them. It will give them another option for a sleeping area at night too instead of being out in the open.”

The pair also have hopes that the houses will continue to be more popular with the ducks and eventually convince other ducks to use the pond as their habitat.

Ms Will said: “I am such an animal lover and I did not want to watch the ducks get killed anymore. Dog walkers have also stopped to take a look at the new houses so it is getting interested from both the ducks and people!

"It is early days still but hopefully the ducks will get used to them more as it offers them more protection away from the preying animals.”

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