Shoppers are still coming to Ledbury despite growing Covid fears, according to traders.

City centres, in particular London, have seen a drop in footfall following government advice to work from home and with the increasing threat of further restrictions.

But business owners in Ledbury say a desire to support local businesses has kept the town’s high street busy in the run-up to Christmas.

Annette Crowe, of Past & Present jewellers, said: “It’s been amazing, really busy. We’re lucky in Ledbury because people come out and support their local businesses - people are loyal to the shops in the town.

“We get people coming here from Hereford, Leominster, Cheltenham and all over. They come once, they love it here and they start coming regularly. We’re different to most high streets because we’ve got craftsmen working here.

“We’ve been rushed off our feet for most of the week. And since the first lockdown we’ve been busy with commissions and repairs - I think people have been going through their cupboards and finding things that need fixing.

“We’ve kept wearing face masks since the end of lockdown, we’ve still got screens on the counter and hand gel for people to use when they come in. People are very respectful in Ledbury - they keep their distance. And we tend to get customers of an older age group, who are very careful. I went to London recently and it was a totally different story down there.”

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Lindsay Jackson, who runs Ledbury Books & Maps, said trade has been at a similar level this year to both 2020 and 2019. “It’s interesting, it hasn’t really made any difference to me,” she said.

“I think high streets like Ledbury benefit because they are quite small and people can come here and feel safe. Everyone has been wearing a mask, they’ve been really good and really sensible.

“We are still taking orders and my suppliers are still able to do next day delivery. We expected a few supply issues but it’s been good.”

Susie McKechnie, of the Ledbury Traders and Businesses Association, said: “Ledbury is pretty busy. I think people want to come out and support their local high street, even more so since the start of the pandemic.

“We only have one empty shop on the high street and even New Street is full now,” she added. “Everybody makes a real effort to make their windows look lovely around Christmas and the late night shopping event was a huge success.”