THREE friends sprang into action to save frogs and toads they had seen being tormented after they became trapped at the bottom of a fountain.

Armed with buckets, tubs and nets, Mollie and Jodie Evans and their friend Charlie Southall have visited the water feature outside County Hall, Spetchley Road every evening to free the frogs.

The fountain is switched off at nights and, once the water has drained out, the frogs and toads can no longer jump out.

The trio stepped in to save the stranded amphibians after Mollie, aged 11, saw children hitting them with tennis rackets and pulling off their legs.

Mum Debbie Evans, from Wylds Lane, Worcester, said: "Last year, my daughters had been walking a friend's dog at County Hall when they noticed all these frogs and toads stuck at the bottom of a fountain so they returned them to the main pond.

"We found a frog in our garden at the weekend which I think was why she wanted to go on a bike ride to see whether they had returned to County Hall.

"When she got there she spotted children by the water fountain being really horrible to the frogs.

"They were batting them like balls with tennis rackets and another boy was pulling their legs off - she was disgusted."

The Red Hill Primary School pupil rolled up her sleeves and rescued the frogs from the bottom of the fountain and has returned every night with her 13-year-old sister and her 14-year-old friend to save scores of the amphibians.

"She was filthy when she came home.

"She had her school shoes on and they were covered with mud because she had been getting into the bottom of the fountain and picking the frogs up and taking them across to the pond.

"The girls go every night after school now.

"They both just love animals. I work in animal rescue with dogs and I think they've inherited my love of animals - it doesn't matter what kind.

"If they saw an animal being mistreated they would do anything to help.

"I'm so proud of them for being so thoughtful. It's a lovely thing to do."

Margaret Layland, trustee RSPCA Worcester and Mid Worcestershire, commended the girls for saving the frogs.

"It's great that the youngsters are rescuing these frogs and toads.

"It's really heartening to see such compassion and dedication to animal welfare. Well done - their families must be proud of them and rightly so."