Fred the labrador takes nine ducklings 'under his paw'

A labrador has become an unlikely foster parent to nine ducklings.

They were found waddling around the grounds of Mountfitchet Castle in Stansted, Essex, with their mother nowhere to be seen.

Staff took them inside as they were too young to fend for themselves.

Since then, Fred, the 10-year-old labrador, has been keeping a close eye on them.