YORK'S annual dragon boat challenge has raised £20,000 for a York hospital charity -even though it couldn't go ahead on the River Ouse as usual during the summer because of the coronavirus.

York Rotary says 18 teams took part in a virtual challenge after being asked to come up with novel and amusing ways to 'paddle' the equivalent of the Dragon Boat course -250 metres.

"The ideas they came up with were amazing," said a spokesperson.

"These included a submarine, a boat made of ladders, and a soapbox pulled by a dragon.

" In the light of everything the NHS has done during the pandemic, it was decided at the outset that York Teaching Hospital Charity would be a worthy recipient of monies raised."

They said the money raised would help fund a 'Peace and Wellbeing Garden' at the hospital, an area for relaxation and reflection.