A loving Labrador who hit headlines a year ago after adopting nine ducklings is now back touching hearts across the nation with six new fledglings to look after.
Fred is an 11-year-old pooch who shot to acclaim for all the right reasons a year ago when he cared for nine baby orphaned ducklings after their mother vanished.
Since then, they’ve all flown the nest – however at this point he’s back at it, having discovered another group of doting ducklings to fuss over.
Fred is the resident pet at Mountfitchet Castle near Stansted, Essex, where staff appreciates seeing him in action as a bit of a father figure to the birds.
Earlier an Iron Age hill fort, the structure is Norman Motte and Bailey mansion, and is worked of wood.
The historic site was also a Roman signals fort and later a Saxon and Viking settlement before being attacked in 1066 by William the Conqueror.
Jeremy Goldsmith, director of Mountfitchet Castle, said: “He took to his role like a duck to water. Fred has got an absolutely wonderful nature. They absolutely love him.”
Goldsmith added: “Fred indicated straight away that there would be no ducking out of his duties as he settled in around them. Within minutes the ducklings accepted their odd-looking new mum and were climbing all over him.”