ORGANISERS of the Bradford on Avon Duck Race have been forced to postpone the annual event because the river is too high and the current too strong.

The race has now been rescheduled for Sunday, April 29 at 12 noon, starting from the Town Bridge. Poster and social media sites are being used to inform local residents.

A spokesperson for the organisers, Bradford on Avon Town Council, said they had consulted the Environment Agency, the town’s Community Emergency Volunteers and the local canoe and kayak club before deciding to postpone the race.

Lydia Booth, the council’s communications manager, said: “They all said the river is too high and the current too strong and fast-flowing to run the race safely.

“The river is currently high and the finish line pontoon is submerged under water. With the strong current, the ducks might rush down the river and this could be a disaster.

“In addition, there’s risk of ducks ‘escaping’ beyond the barriers and no safe place for volunteers to stand when collecting retrieved ducks.”

Up to 1,000 ducks have been purchased by the council for this year’s race. Last year, 780 ducks took part. Ms Booth added: “All ducks sold will still be valid for April 29.”

Any ducks that have not yet been sponsored will be available to buy from 11am on the day in Westbury Gardens.

The race was originally due to take place on Easter Monday, April 2 following the Bradford on Avon Lions Club Easter Bonnet competition and Easter Egg hunt at Victory Field.

The ducks are raced along the River Avon from the Town Bridge to the finish line under the McKeevor footbridge, where the winners will be retrieved and their sponsors announced.

For more details and to sponsor a duck, please contact the Town Council offices on 01225 864240.