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River Conon duck race from Moy Bridge to Marybank set to help Ross-shire school beat cost of living crisis

By Hector MacKenzie

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The plastic ducks will all be retrieved ruling out any negative environmental impact.
The plastic ducks will all be retrieved ruling out any negative environmental impact.

Ross-shire primary school parent volunteers are making a splash to boost school funds.

Parents at Marybank Primary Parent Council plan to launch 1000 plastic ducks onto the local river in a bid to raise cash for the school.

It will all be with the support of a canoe team poised ready to recover ducks at the finish line, a short way downstream.The racing ducks will raise sponsorship and funds to support educational trips and end of term excursions at the school.

Local parents and volunteers are organising this fun duck race, on the day raffle and afternoon tea on November 19 at 2pm at the Fairburn Memorial Hall in Marybank.

The local volunteers will join together to bring the community this fun afternoon to get everyone outdoors on what is set to be a fun autumnal and wintery day. Everyone is welcome to warm up in the local hall for a social afternoon with friends old and new. All proceeds will go towards the primary school’s term time activities.

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A duck in the hand could be worth a few bob for the cause.
A duck in the hand could be worth a few bob for the cause.

The initiative intends to raise funds to tackle the cost of living crisis which is preventing some families from being able to take part in experiences such as day trips elsewhere and excursions.

Local parent Eleanor MacDonald, Marybank Primary Parent Council secretary, said: "We know it can be difficult to find the finances to travel from rural areas to visitor attractions elsewhere and at the end of the term the Parent Council enjoys supporting trips and excursions for the children to enjoy. We’re making it a little easier by organising a fundraiser to enable every family in our school to take part."

The 2023 Duck Race follows on from a tradition of previous duck races on the River Conon from Moy Bridge near Marybank to the first bend in the river. It is the first hosted since 2016 but was previously a regular feature in the area.

Organising this event may be more challenging with river levels likely to be rising with seasonal rainfall. There is a contingency plan to draw from a hat if a backup plan is needed on the day, should the weather not permit the race to go ahead as planned. In any case, it's intended there will be a great afternoon had by all with the afternoon tea party set to raise lots of cash for the school.

The parent council has had "incredible support" from various local business donating raffle prizes and donations.

Ducks are ready to go!
Ducks are ready to go!

The Fairburn Memorial Hall is working with the parent council and together hosting this event with raffle prizes which have been donated by Munro’s Nurseries, The Potter’s House, Muir of Ord Golf Club, Highland Pet and Equine Supplies, Black Isle Brewery, Roller Bowl Inverness, Coul House Hotel, Harry Gow’s Bakery, Munros Butcher, M&S, Mark Bell Guitar Tuition and others to be confirmed.

Other support to the school and parent council projects has been given by Woodblox and funding from SSE Renewables Fairburn Community Fund and Foundation Scotland of the EDF Renewables Corriemoillie, Marybank, Scatwell & Strathconon Community Fund.

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