A POPULAR annual charity duck race in the Cotswolds will go virtual next month after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of this year's event.

Every year the North Cotswolds Rotary Club and the Rotary in the Rissingtons organise duck races along a stretch of the River Windrush.

This is always a very popular event for tourists as well as local residents.

Anyone can purchase a duck and prizes are given to the first duck across the line in each race.

All money raised goes to the local and national charities supported by the rotary clubs.

"Due to the restrictions in place because of the Covid-19 pandemic we are unable to run this as a live event this year," said John Barber, president of North Cotswolds Rotary .

"So, we came up with a creative idea to run the event.

"A small team staged three races very early one morning in early June, each of which was filmed.

"We were able to observe social distancing and had great fun making the three films.

"The races will be shown on YouTube so everyone can watch from the comfort of their own homes."

The races will be shown on the North Cotswolds Rotary YouTube channel from 2pm on Saturday, July 4.

There will be three races and 124 ducks in each race.

Each race has a sponsor and a prize for the winning duck.

Race one will be sponsored by Harrison James & Hardie who are donating a gift voucher to Cotswold Made Company as the winning prize.

Race two is sponsored by Beautylicious in Bourton who are donating a £50 gift voucher for their beauticians as the winning prize.

And race three is sponsored by The Cotswold Brewing Company who are donating a mixed case of 24 of their beers and a Cotswold Brewery T-shirt as the winning prize.

To purchase your ducks (£3 per duck) go to TicketSource and search for ‘Virtual Duck Race’.