On Bank Holiday Monday some 2,000 bright yellow ducks were seen floating down the river Teme at Ludlow.

It wasn’t the result of some strange ornithological occurrence. The ducks were plastic and the event was the Duck Races organised by Ludlow Rotary Club in aid of Ludlow Rotary Cares, the club’s community grants scheme.

There were four duck races on the programme, with 500 ducks released each time from Dinham Weir to float under Dinham Bridge to the winning line a hundred yards or so downstream.

Many of the ducks had been sponsored by members of the public who turned out in large numbers to cheer on their ducks from the banks of the river and from across the bridge.

The winning duck in each race produced a £100 prize for the successful sponsor.

Speaking after the event, Ray Cork of Ludlow Rotary explained “This was the first time that we had run such an event, and it was really good that so many people, including lots of families, turned out to cheer it on and helped to raise almost £2,500 for our grants scheme. We are especially grateful to all who assisted on the day not least the Friends of Whitcliffe Common, Hereford Rotary Club and Hereford Sea Scouts.”

Ludlow Rotary Club hope that this will now be an annual event and are already beginning to plan for next year which, they say, will be ‘bigger and better’.

Speaking as preparations for the duck race got underway, Adrian Carter of Ludlow Rotary said: “Planning a duck race is no mean feat. The ducks have to be corralled into pens of 500 then decanted into boxes of 100. Each box of 100 ducks is then put into numbered bags, checked and double checked to make sure each ticket we sell is allocated to a duck."

Mr Carter's fears that some of the ducks might escape proved groundless as all 2,000 made it safely back.

"I can safely say that there were all counted out at the beginning and were all safely counted back in at the end!"