THE owner of a tourist attraction in Bishops Lydeard is distraught after a fox killed all hisr ducks.

When Charlie Back made his routine morning call to let the ducks out of their coop at the historic village mill, he discovered them all lifeless.

On making a head count, Mr Back discovered one was missing, so he picked up a broom to search for the other bird in the hay.

He said: "I started to move the hay in a coop and uncovered the last one but also to my horror I uncovered a young fox.

"It must have gone in the day before and before I had fed the ducks at 5.40pm.

"It hadn't eaten any, just killed them."

The Grade II listed flour mill - a Domesday site - is attached to the Mill House beside the picturesque stream where Mr Back lives.

He decided to have ducks on the stream, as the miller would have done in the past.

Referring to the killing of his ducks, Mr Back said: "It's a real tragedy, upsetting many people, as well as us.

"We have been receiving condolences, both written and vocal from people who walk around the village that miss seeing them on the stream.

"They often stop and you can see a dog with its front paws on the low wall watching the ducks.

"Routinely, adults bring their children to watch the ducks.

"One interesting example was a man with a dog walked as far as the bridge over the stream but the dog came to look at the ducks but when called he went back to the owner and they carried on into the village. He had to see the ducks first."

Mr Back renovated the water mill in 2003 and has opened it up to visitors, raising more than £180,000 which he has donated to charities.