A DEDICATED Woodley librarian has raised over £8,000 by touring a giant yellow duck along the River Thames.

Ros Fernley from Wargrave and her friend Timothy Dodd-Wilson, set themselves a challenge with a homemade raft and cabin powered by a small engine.

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The pair from Wokingham spent the whole of June towing a 14-feet-tall inflatable duck up and down the river to raise awareness for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution RNLI charity.

A total of £8,824,51 was raised.

Ros said: "Big Duck has been a regular at both Henley Regatta and Festival for the past three years and it always gets a lot of attention.

"This was a journey to make people smile and raise money at the same time. Not many people would have seen a 14-foot-tall duck before so people always want to take pictures or stop to look."

The duo were inspired to fundraise because of the Penlee Lifeboat Disaster in 1981 which saw 16 people die when a lifeboat and its crew attempted to save the people on board a stranded boat during extreme weather.

No one on either of the vessels survived.

Ros, Timothy and the Big Duck, known as Lily, set off from Wargrave on June 15 and went upstream towards Lechlade before coming back down to Teddington RNLI Lifeboat Station.

During this time, the Big Duck had been under 43 different bridges and had to be deflated 23 times to fit underneath.

Ros added: "We have had so many donations and so many people offering kindness in terms of giving us lifts to get petrol as well as monetary donations, including my colleagues at the librarians.

"The kindness and generosity we have experienced has really restored my faith in people."

Visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bigducksbigadventure to donate to the Just Giving page.