Rushmere St Andrew: Ducks disappear from drained pond

Ducks disappear from pond as area is drained for de-silting

AS YOU drive into Rushmere St Andrew the sun is desperately trying to shine.

There’s a chill in the air and a light drizzle seeps into the sodden verges – an English summer at its best. And for weeks it has been lovely weather for ducks.

The rain has fallen and fallen and fallen, and our feathered friends have been lapping it up – except in Rushmere St Andrew that is.

The scenic village pond stands empty today, bereft of the water that has flooded parts of the country and kept our Suffolk countryside so very green.

But don’t panic – the draining of the pond is all part of a programme to “de-silt” the wildlife haven.

Instead of the reflection of the overhanging trees, the pond is a muddy crater – not the picturesque view of yesteryear. And on a fairly wet summer’s day it all has little appeal.

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There may be a sign that says “Don’t feed the ducks” but there isn’t a duck in sight – not at the moment at least. And as for “Danger! Deep water” – there’s no need to worry about that.

Mel Bentley, parish clerk for Rushmere St Andrew, told The Ipswich Star the pond hadn’t been de-silted for about 20 years.

He added: “The parish council decided to de-silt the pond and work is almost finished. The water has been pumped out and the silt taken away.

“The fish have been removed and will be returned when the pond fills up again.”

The �5,000 project has taken about a week to complete.

Mr Bentley added: “Work has almost finished. The pond takes water off the road so we will see what rain we have over the coming weeks, if we don’t get enough we will pump water back into the pond.”

And the ducks?

Mr Bentley, who has been the parish clerk for ten years, said they have moved to other ponds in the village. He added: “We’re expecting they will come back. I think they will. There are plenty of ducks around here.”