Country folk are being urged to use local shops and buy locally produced food this Christmas rather than spend there money are the major supermarkets or city centre stores.
The advice comes from the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) whose membership includes not just landowners and farmers but hundreds of small shops, pubs and restaurants.
Shopping there not only helps the local economy but can also be cheaper, says the association. A recent survey showed that farm shops were 12% cheaper than supermarkets for meat, 16% for eggs, and 24% on baking potatoes.
Douglas Chalmers, Director CLA North says that Christmas shopping can sometimes be an intimidating experience, but local shops generally provide a better retail experience - all year round.
He went on: “Your local shops contribute a great deal to the economic health of your area, but are under threat not just from large supermarkets, but also the boom in internet shopping.
“A good Festive Season can help ensure that local businesses can survive and maintain their jobs and services through quieter times of the year. Of course this year, many local Cumbrian businesses have just taken a hammering from the floods. What better way to support them than to give them your custom and let others experience their products.
“My message is avoid the traffic queues, expensive parking and packed pavements, and explore what's on offer in your local farm shop, village store, farmers' market or in our market towns where traditional, independent shops are still plentiful.
“And, of course, what could be more traditional than a local tree and local turkey?"