Four tiny ducklings were saved from an eight-metre deep storm tank at a Thames Water sewage treatment works.

The fledglings and their mum were spotted in a tiny puddle of water at the bottom of the concrete tank at Fiddlers Hamlet STW in Epping Forest.

Site engineers provided the brood with food and water while hatching a rescue plan with experts from Thames Water’s biodiversity team and the Swan Sanctuary charity.

Tone Scaffolding Services, which was carrying out some other work at the site, agreed to help and, using an eight-metre ladder, a scaffolder and a sanctuary worker wearing harnesses climbed down into the pit.

Epping Forest Guardian:

The ducks were rescued from the bottom of a concrete tank

The mother duck flew away but the chicks were all carefully gathered up using nets and winched to safety.

They were taken to the Swan Sanctuary where they were cleaned and warmed up, and given a clean bill of health. They hope to reunite the ducklings with their mum at a nearby lake.

Storm tanks are normally empty but help protect the environment by filling up with excess wastewater during heavy rain.

Epping Forest Guardian:

They are now safe and sound

Kirsty Halford, Thames Water’s nature reserves manager, said: “When the team saw the ducklings at the bottom of the tank they knew there was no way they’d get out without some help. They were only a few days’ old and clearly weren’t able to fly. 

“We're not sure how they got in there, and mum was doing her best to look after and protect them, but there was only so much she could do in the circumstances. Looking after wildlife is a huge part of what we do at Thames Water so everyone was determined to get them out safely.

"We were all so happy when they were rescued. A big thank-you to everyone involved, especially Tone Scaffolding Services who did an amazing job, and the Swan Sanctuary for their expert advice and after-care."

Epping Forest Guardian:

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