A FAMILY of ducklings we safely rehomed this week after an Amport fishery stepped in to save the day.

Grays Wildlife Rescue, an Andover home-based rescue charity, had been looking for a spot where it could safely release a family of five ducklings it had been rearing since April.

The babies had been taken in by the charity after they were just a few days old after they were found in a residents’ garden with no sign of their mother anywhere near.

Two months on, it was time to release them into the wild, but safety concerns after recent dog attacks at potential sites in Andover made this trickier than usual.

That’s where Amport Fishery came in. After co-owner Tessa Hawkings-Byass reached out to the wildlife charity on Facebook, it became apparent that her fishery was the ideal spot for the fluffy fivesome.

And on Monday morning, the ducklings moved in – or rather on – to their new home.

Melissa Tucker, who runs the wildlife charity, says the animals would usually be released nature reserves in Andover, such as Anton Lakes or Rooksbury Mill.

However, she says the risk of off-lead dogs attacking the ducklings meant Anton Lakes was not a suitable option, adding: “Recently there have been a spate of dog attacks there, mostly on swans. It’s one of those things; it’s a nature reserve, there’s wildlife there but also people with their dogs.”

Nor was Rooksbury viable, with another family who had been rescue from the site due to return there in the coming weeks.

Melissa added: “We already know we’ve got nine to return to the area [at Rooksbury] it’s about supporting them and making sure the ecosystem can cope with the animals coming in.”

Amport Fishery, however, offered a safe and secluded space that would be perfect for the ducklings’ needs. Tessa says they only allow bookings of up to four fisherman at a time, and the land is private so there is no risk of dogs harming the wildlife.

Melissa says the charity is reliant on kind gestures such as that of the fishery, as the entire operation is run from home.

She has converted the garage into a suitable space, featuring incubators and heat lamps, while she also has an aviary for rescued birds.

However, space remains a big issue – especially when you consider that the charity has taken in 80 animals during lockdown. Melissa says that before the pandemic the charity had been looking for spaces in which to branch out, but in the meantime places like Amport Trout Fishery provide an “ideal” solution.

Melissa said: “When this came up on Facebook, it was ideal for us. And that’s how we manage to run the rescue, by members of the public giving their space and their time and their land. It’s what makes the rescue work.”

For more information about the Fishery search ‘Amport Trout Fishey’ on Facebook.

To find out more about the wildlife rescue search ‘Grays Wildlife Rescue’.