Chester's Fountain stays quiet for a little longer

8 July 2020

Chester's fountain on the ring road has been welcoming people to the city since the 1960s. As a sign that things are slowly returning to normal, plans were under way to turn the fountain back on last weekend.

However, residents and visitors are going to have to wait a little longer as nature has stepped in preventing the popular landmark from returning.

For a change this has nothing to do with COVID-19 but does involve social distancing as a family of ducks has taken up residence in the fountain. Engineers were about to start carrying out the process of re-commissioning which includes the entire fountain area and pumps being cleaned and chlorinated.

The report was that mother, and 'children' were doing well and were quite happy in their adopted home.

After hatching, ducklings will stay in the nest for at least 10 hours while they dry and get used to using their legs. Then, usually in the early morning, the female will lead them to water. Sometimes bad weather may delay this journey, but the sooner the ducklings get to water to feed, the better.

It's not an uncommon site for mother and ducklings to be spotted in the city centre making their way to the river or Grosvenor Park. In their current location it could be two months before the ducklings are able to fly and leave the roundabout.

Work has now been delayed until the ducks leave. Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: "We have delayed the re-commissioning work and turning the fountains back on until the ducks are ready to leave. The  advice from the RSBP is to leave the ducks where they are, trying to relocate them has a danger that the mother may abandon the ducklings."

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