Biggest splash for Duck Race

Endcliffe Park Easter duck race
Endcliffe Park Easter duck race

At least 4,000 people are estimated to have watched the latest Duck Race in Endcliffe Park, raising more than £7,000 for the campaign to restore Forge Dam.

Once all proceeds are counted, it is hoped the figure will pass £8,000 as a result of the most successful event in its six year history. The money is going towards a £250,000 drive to desilt the dam and improve its surroundings.

One of the aims of the Friends of the Porter Valley, is to secure a grant of up to £100,000 from the Big Lottery Fund - and, crucially, it can point to widespread support from the local community. Over two years, activities organised by voluntary group have generated £60,000.

Last year Duck Race organisers had to clear ice from the park paths; this Easter Monday it was a totally different picture as 2,500 ducks floated along the River Porter.

“It was a stunning day,” said Ann le Sage, who chairs the Friends. “The sun shone, children were in t-shirts and sandals and were paddling, there were picnics and there was the right quantity of water in the river for the ducks.

“The event has grown the way we wanted it to grow. When it began it was a tiny. Now people come from across Sheffield and from places such as Chesterfield, Nottingham and Leeds.

“Each year we have been able to pull in more people interested in putting on stalls, and we were thanked on Monday by so many families, who said they had seen the conservation work we have done at Forge Dam.”

The Friends, who led the drive to restore Shepherd Wheel, are also due to apply for grants from Veolia, Viridor and the Town Trust.