Rescuers help save ducklings lost down drain near Chowns Mill improvement works

“We knew we had to do something to help the ducks, I couldn’t just leave them"

By Stephanie Weaver
Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 10:04 am
Updated Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 10:08 am

Rescuers came to the aid of a mother duck when her ducklings disappeared into the drainage system near the Chowns Mill improvement works.

The drama began when road worker Matt Jones spotted a car which he thought was broken down on the A45 dual carriageway and went to see if he could help.

Couple John and Yvonne Goldsworthy had in fact stopped their car because the mother bird and six ducklings were sat in the road seemingly distressed.

John Goldsworthy with the tenth and final duckling to be rescued

On hearing chirping in the drain, they asked traffic supervisor control officer Matt to help.

As Matt removed drain covers and scoured the system below, they were able to track down three birds and send mother duck and her ducklings safely back on their way to a nearby pond.

But as Matt, who works for contractor Chevron TM, returned to work on Highways England’s A45/A6 Chowns Mill roundabout scheme near Irthlingborough, John and Yvonne heard more chirping.

Taking up the drain covers again, Matt was able to locate a tenth duckling.

Highways England project manager, Dean Holloway, said: "As ever, our team did not get in a flap.

"Matt swooped into action and helped to make sure mother and all her ducklings were safe.

"We’re delighted there was a happy end to this story and well done to everyone for their fantastic efforts.”

Yvonne, of Raunds, told afterwards of their relief that they were able to help rescue the ducklings which had fallen down small holes in the kerbs into the drainage system.

She said: “We knew we had to do something to help the ducks, I couldn’t just leave them.

“It all worked out wonderfully in the end and thanks to Matt for stopping and helping.”

Despite their best efforts, the three rescuers could not find the mother and ducklings again to reunite the tenth bird with its family and the duckling was taken into safe keeping by the RSPCA.

Highways England is investing £24 million to increase capacity at the Chowns Mill roundabout which experiences severe congestion due to the amount of traffic on the A45 and A6, as well as local traffic accessing Higham Ferrers and Rushden.  

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