Hartlepool councillor and community rally round to rescue ducks entangled in dumped fishing wire
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Fens and Rossmere representative Tony Richardson got his feet wet to save the stricken animals as part of a joint community effort by park users and local residents.
Cllr Richardson released one duck tangled in some fishing wire near the pond island and another nearby he spotted also tangled up.
One flew away apparently uninjured, while he carried the second back to shore where it has been cared for by Rossmere resident Anthony Baker prior to being released soon.
Cllr Richardson, 68, said: “I put an old pair of trainers and t-shirt on and went in. I got one that was tangled round a branch on the water.
"I untangled it and it took off. Then I noticed another one on the island tangled up around both feet and its neck.
"I had a bit of trouble getting back ashore although I had a stick to keep my balance.
"Fishing wire is a problem in the park. There is a volunteer who goes out in a boat and takes a lot out but you can’t always see it.”
A group of people had rallied round trying to get help after spotting the first duck in distress including Gavin John, Melissa Sturdy and Graeme Blakey.
Mr Blakey said: “I was trying to get people down to the pond to save these ducks. Eventually, Tony turned up, stripped off and went in the water.
"It just brought a warm glow the way everyone rallied round to try to help and think it’s brilliant what Tony did.
"He didn’t hesitate to jump in the water.”
He said he will take up the issue of discarded fishing wire in the park with other ward councillors.
“Rossmere is a beautiful park but sadly fishing wire doesn’t always get taken home.”
Mr Blakey added the bird has since been released, saying: "The duck was put back a couple of evenings ago and was welcomed back by a couple of ducks of the same breed. Nice ending to a good community rescue."
The park has been undergoing a £550,000 renovation with work including repairs to surfacing and footpaths, installation of non-slip decking and a timber rail, relocation of the toddler play area and new junior play area.