Toilet ducks - Feathery clan visit West Yorkshire centre

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A newly-refurbished centre in Dewsbury received an unexpected visit – from a mother duck and her offspring.

The Howlands, on School Street, recently opened its doors following a £500,000 makeover.

And some of the first visitors to the revamped centre were of the feathered variety.

Manager Deborah Hall recalled the experience.

She said: “We were alerted when we saw a few people in the street trying to usher them off the road.

“Where we are located is near a blind bend, so obviously it was quite dangerous for them.

“We said the best thing was to get them into our building which is what we did before phoning the RSPB.

“They said to put them near water so we took them to the 
ladies’ loos and left a tray there for them to bathe in.

“We’re right in the centre of Dewsbury so I don’t know how they came to get here.

“The RSPB said they may have hatched locally.”

Deborah, who has worked at the Howlands for 18 years, says the visit was certainly a first for her.

“We’ve rescued cats before but never a family of ducks,” she added.

“We always welcome new visitors but we weren’t expecting this!”

Following their bath the quacky clan were taken by 
Deborah and her staff to a nearby stretch of river just off Mill Street East, on further advice from the RSPB.

The Howlands’ revamp was funded thanks to the Big Lottery Building Communities Fund and the Victorian building has had a complete overhaul.

It can now accommodate community groups, seminars, and activities for all the community.

For more information, visit howlands.org.uk.