PLANS to turn Chester's fountains back on have been delayed after a family of ducks took up residence at the iconic roundabout landmark.

Cheshire West and Chester Council says the mother and her newborns could remain at their adopted home for up to two months, at which point the ducklings should be able to fly away.

The local authority says engineers were about to start carrying out the re-commissioning work, which includes the entire fountain area and pumps being cleaned and chlorinated, in order to turn the fountains back on as a "sign that things are slowly returning to normal".

Work has now been delayed until the ducks leave.

Council leader Louise Gittins 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."

The council says the family of ducks 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.