One of Britain’s oldest ducks on record has died at the grand old age of 22.

Much-loved mallard Edwina passed away in her pen on Monday, leaving her owners devastated.

Christine Christopher and Ian Knight from Ringwood rescued Edwina when she was just a tiny duckling after finding her abandoned in a lake near their Poulner home.

They took the new addition to their family under their wing, calling her Edward until she started laying eggs.

After nursing Edwina back to health, Mr Knight tried to release her into the wild but she followed him back home and had been living with the family ever since.

In July this year Edwina shot to fame following her 22nd birthday. The British Trust for Ornithology claimed she was the oldest known wild mallard in the UK.

Fighting back tears yesterday, Mr Knight told the Daily Echo how he had found Edwina dead in her run on Monday.

He said: “She hadn’t been well over Christmas.

“Her legs were a bit wobbly and we were concerned that she wasn’t her normal self.

“We had been planning to take her to the vet’s when we discovered that she had passed away.

“It might sound silly to some people but 22 years is a long time to have a pet and we are heartbroken to have lost Edwina.”

He added: “She had become a bit of a celebrity and, after we appeared on television on her 22nd birthday, someone recognised me at Palma airport in Majorca.”