A fleet of plastic ducks will be under starter’s orders ready to race to victory on behalf of their backers in St Neots later this month.

The River Great Ouse is set to be awash with yellow as up to 1,700 ducks take to the water.

Each one can be bought for a minimum donation of £1 and all proceeds will go towards the Hunts Community Cancer Network, which helps support cancer patients and their families in their own homes throughout the district.

Organiser Gini Melesi, community cancer nurse specialist, said: "I hope people remember the duck race from two years ago, we raised £3,000 and run out of ducks to sell, so families were looking for ducks to buy themselves and we numbered them so that they could take part.

"It was a great community atmosphere. Please come and support us."

The flotilla will start from the town bridge and be helped down river by volunteer swimmers, who will encourage them to head in the right direction.

Whoever 'owns' the first ducks to cross the finish line at the rowing club will be in with a chance of winning one of the prizes, which include an Amazon Fire tablet, a confectionary hamper and a £50 voucher for St Neots department store Barretts.

Tickets for the ducks can be bought at Barretts, The Woodlands Cancer Centre at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon or by calling Gini on 07715 037711.

The duck race will be on Saturday, May 23 - the same day as the St Neots Food and Drink Festival, on from 10.30am-4pm in Market Square - and is due to start at 1.30pm. For more information, visit www.huntscommunitycancernetwork.org.