A man from St Albans is trying to change the face of badminton with a new shuttlecock design.

Gordon Willis, of Folly Avenue, has come up with a synthetic alternative to the popular feather shuttlecock.

The 62-year-old, who is the manager at Bird Design Ltd, said: "Players have been using the same shuttlecock since the 1940s.

"This new design is good because it combines the durability of plastic shuttlecocks with the feel and playability of feather ones."

He first became interested in the sport when his two sons, who are now in their 30s, used to travel across the country for badminton tournaments.

Mr Willis and his team developed their first prototype six years ago.

Since then they have produced three new versions of the shuttlecock.

Mr Willis hopes the innovation will encourage a new wave of interest in the sport.

He said: "Cost is a big problem for small clubs who go through so many shuttlecocks every game.

"Hopefully this new development will bring the costs of playing down and make the sport more accessible."