Fringe Box



Family’s Ordeal Trapped on Roof of Guildford Castle

Published on: 13 Apr, 2012
Updated on: 14 Apr, 2012

Exclusive: by David Rose

A mallard duck and her young were this afternoon (Friday, April 13) waiting to be rescued from the roof of the tower of Guildford Castle.

Ducks regularly breed high up in the relative safety of the 12th-century castle ruins. The problem comes when their young are old enough to leave home, but whose wings are not strong enough for them to fly to the ground.

The ducklings trapped on the roof of Guildford Castle. Picture by David Rose.

Also this afternoon, the mother had her ducklings trapped in a gully on the lead roof. She could climb out, but they could not.

The Great Tower, or Keep, of Guildford Castle.

Custodian of the The Great Tower of Guildford Castle, Phillip Hutchinson, rang colleagues at Guildford Borough Council alerting them to the ducks’ plight. Visitors who had climbed the steps in the tower to the observation cage above the lead roof could see the trapped ducks and reported the drama.

As Philip was waiting for someone to come and rescue the family of mallards, he said: “They regularly nest here and we have had this problem before in which they can’t get down.”

It appears that someone often comes along, scoops up the ducklings, puts them safely into a bucket and takes them the short distance to the river. Mum usually follows, flying above and keeping a close eye on her young.

No-one knows where the drake is – he fled some time ago!

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