Adorable ducklings make annual waddle through south London school to nearby lake

The female mallard ushered her younglings from the sheltered courtyard where she laid her eggs over winter to a lake on the other side of the building.

An adorable brood of ducklings led by their mother have made their annual waddle through a southeast London school to the safety of a nearby lake.

The female mallard ushered her younglings from the sheltered courtyard where she laid her eggs over winter to a lake on the other side of the building.

Natalie Devon, a receptionist at Bromley High School, said: "This is the highlight of my work year and a great fanfare to the beginning of spring.”

An adorable brood of ducklings led by their mother made their annual waddle through Bromley High School to the safety of a lake. Photo: SWNS

Video footage of the short walk shows the around 15 ducklings waddling through the school reception doors, across the floor and out the other side.

Their mother led them out the front doors, before they all tumbled down the steps, head-over-heels, then landed on their feet to carry on their journey.

An adorable brood of ducklings led by their mother made their annual waddle through Bromley High School to the safety of a lake. Photo: Bromley High School / SWNS

The female mallard then wandered across the school grass, with her ducklings in tow, taking a detour up a slope.

The aquatic birds then found their way back on track, waddling across the grass and disappeared under a fence and into the lake.

Ms Devon added: “I absolutely love seeing these gorgeous fluffy ducklings following their mummy on their annual pilgrimage to the lake.

The female mallard ushered her younglings from the sheltered courtyard where she laid her eggs over winter to a lake on the other side of the building. Photo: SWNS

"Few people are lucky enough to have a parade of little flipper feet going past their desk during a ‘normal’ working day. It’s lovely to be part of their journey."

The lake, which also attracts heron, frogs and newts, was dug by parents in 1981 when the school moved a couple of miles away to Bickley.

Staff try to guide the family through the building while the 900 pupils, aged from four to 18, are in lessons or not in school.

The female mallard ushered her younglings from the sheltered courtyard where she laid her eggs over winter to a lake on the other side of the building. Photo: SWNS

In recent years, mature ducks have arrived in the school courtyard in February each year and one duck has her litter in the quiet of the courtyard.

The mature ducks can fly into the courtyard, but the little ducklings cannot fly out so have to be led to the lake.

A school spokeswoman said: “They are visible to the girls from the corridors and classrooms surrounding the quad, but we limit use of the quad so that it is very peaceful whilst the ducks are nesting.”

An independent girls school, Bromley High School was founded in 1883 and costs £5,897 for each pupil every term.

Former pupils include the Labour MP Margaret Hodge and EastEnders actor Tilly Keeper, who plays Louise Mitchell in the soap.