A POPULAR annual children’s flag hunt in Dorchester has been extended this year to cope with unprecedented demand.

This year’s Super Sleuth competition, organised by Dorchester’s Business Improvement District, had a sports theme this year to tie in with the Commonwealth Games and World Cup.

The BID hid 115 flags around the town centre and plenty of young detectives have been busy searching for them with their families.

Aspiring sleuths can download sticker albums online or collect them from the Dorchester Tourist Information Centre before they set off on their mission.

Phil Gordon, BID project director, said: “We have had the best ever response with over 600 children taking a free sticker album to join in the hunt. Several shops in town have added to the excitement by offering extra prizes for the six winners, on top of the £260 prize fund that the Dorchester BID has put together, so they will be getting quite a hoard.”

Many of the town’s businesses have also gotten stuck into the event, offering prizes including free Odeon cinema tickets, a £25 voucher for Jordan’s Jewellers, meal vouchers from Imperial Garden Chinese restaurant and an offer from AutoBitz to match the prize pound for pound.

Isaac Ennion, seven, from Puddletown took part in the competition and said: “It’s been really fun going round and looking for clues, we have been to lots of shops we have not been to before and I’m looking forward to finishing the book.”

Jeremy Bessant, 39, who lives in Dorchester and is father to entrant Jack, 11, said the competition had encouraged them to venture off the beaten track in the town.

He said: “We have been to lots of new shops and Jack is looking forward to completing it. He’s got lots of ideas of how he might spend the money if he wins. Now we’ll be going through and identifying all the countries’ flags.”

There are over two weeks still left to enter the competition if children have not already done so. The closing date is September 16.