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River Allen duck race raises £1,500

By mbarber  |  Posted: August 26, 2014

Launching the ducks

The ducks are launched. Photo by Derek Foote

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The 15th Wimborne in Bloom August Bank Holiday weekend duck race has raised over £1,500 towards ‘In Bloom’ funds and in particular the autumn planting.

The Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayoress Councillor Shane and Mrs Tracy Bartlett along with members of the Wimborne in Bloom Committee launched the ducks into the River Allen by the Riverside Mews Café bridge. A fairly leisurely race to the finishing line at the Rising Sun Car Park saw the first ducks home in around twenty minutes but it was well over half an hour before the last duck completed the course!

This year to meet the demand for tickets some of the ducks were ‘co-owned’ as it would have been impractical to increase beyond a thousand the number of ducks launched into the river. It meant that the prize money could be doubled as both owners would be eligible for the full value of all prizes.

Results:

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1st, £50, duck no 575, Anne Norman; 2nd, £25 duck no 877 Clare Fallon; 3rd, co-owned £10 each Val Cooper and Canford Drains; 4th, £5 duck no 951 Norma Aitchison; 5th and 6th both co-owned £5 each duck no 92 Alison Powell and Linda Brazier and duck no186 Jack Evenden and Anna Pazos. Last duck home no 775 Chris Gate won a bottle of wine.

All ducks had been pre-sold at £1 a time outside Waitrose and Co-Operative supermarkets.

“In the light of the recent publicity regarding a fungal disease known as ‘crayfish plague’ threatening the white-clawed crayfish in the River Allen we sought advice from Dorset Wildlife Trust about running the duck race,” said Richard Nunn, chairman of Wimborne in Bloom. “In turn DWT conferred with the Environment Agency and between them agreed that the duck race could go ahead providing we followed their guidelines. These included remaining vigilant and observing biosecurity procedures such as ensuring that any equipment including shoes/boots were clean and dry before entering the river and cleaned off afterwards.”

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