Mum and her 14 baby ducklings were escorted by volunteers after they got TRAPPED far from their pond

·3-min read

A mum and her 14 baby ducklings halted traffic when they were personally escorted by a convoy of volunteers after they got trapped far from their pond.

It's thought the mallard ended up on a nearby caravan park because she was after a safe place to make her nest away from waterside predators.

But local residents got worried she'd get hurt if she tried to cross the busy road - dodging drains and navigating fences - with her massive brood of ducklings, on her own.

So volunteers lined her 200m trek back to the pond, gently ushering her along, halting traffic on a busy road to let her waddle safely home.

Adorable footage shows the line of ducklings following mum, under the watchful eye of residents and staff from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS).

Trevor Weeks, rescue co-ordinator, said: "Everything went like clockwork and we only had to stop traffic for a very short period of time.

"It is common for female ducks to nest away from ponds and waterways in secluded locations hidden away from the many predators who hover around ponds looking for a quick meal at this time of year.

"Within 48 hours mum will try and walk them to a pond, but this can on occasions be over a mile away from where she has nested"

"Wild birds are as individual as humans so you are never 100% sure how they are going to react to you.

"We could attempt to catch them and move them but this comes with a high risk of mum flying off and abandoning her young if she is too stressed.

"It is also easy to make a mistake on where her intended destination is.

"If you catch mum and the duckling and release them at the wrong location they will up and walk off once everyone has gone, putting them at further risk of being run over or young falling down drains on roads.

"So walking mum and ducklings is always the best option when you are at a safe enough location to try"

The rescuers arrived in two veterinary ambulances after residents of Barley Mow Caravan Park, in Uckfield, East Sussex, called WRAS, on Thursday (22).

The residents had seen mum walking her ducklings around the park as fences blocked her route to the pond.

Worried she may try and cross the busy Eastbourne Road and get run over, they called for help.

The long line of ducks had been slowly and carefully walked out of the park by WRAS rescuers Lisa Turner and Ellie Langridge.

After crossing the road they followed the family across the field until it reached the pond in safety.

They took a final head count using binoculars before leaving mum and babies to settle into their new home.

Ellie added: "Mum clearly wanted to head west towards the pond, but fences and other obstacles made this impossible from where she was.

"We had to encourage her in the opposite direction so she could reach the exit from the park, before walking along a short section of the road and into a field on the opposite side of the road."