Meet the mini donkeys! 'Eeyore-some' guests coming to Sunday market

Sarah McPherson started Mini Donks in May 2017 as a social enterprise that offers visits from its mi

Sarah McPherson, started Mini Donks in May 2017 as a social enterprise that offers visits from its miniature donkeys to care homes, schools and hospitals to relieve stress and improve wellbeing. They will feature at this week's Holt Sunday Market. - Credit: Jamie Honeywood

The most popular visitors to the next Holt Sunday Market are likely to have four legs, pointy ears and a hunger for carrots. 

The furry animals from the Norfolk-based group Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing, also known as Mini Donks, will be at the August 22 event.

The market sees the town centre closed to vehicles to make way for scores of craft and food stalls, as well as live music and other entertainment. 

Holt Sunday Market Byline: Sonya Duncan

People browsing the stalls at one of this summer's Holt Sunday Markets. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Nigel Hadlow, one of the market's organisers, said: "They're wellbeing donkeys, they usually go around to schools and care homes, which they haven't been able to do, so it's great they will be able to come along to the market."

The market is nearing the end of its run as a weekly event - from September it will only be held on the first Sunday of each month.

Mr Hadlow said having the market weekly throughout July and August had been worthwhile.

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He said: "It has been going really well. The crowds have increased every week.

"It has certainly increased footfall around Holt. The shops have reported a 10-20pc rise in their takings." 

Miniature donkeys are coming to the next Holt Sunday Market.

Miniature donkeys are coming to the next Holt Sunday Market. - Credit: Jamie Honeywood

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Mr Hadlow said the market attracted a mix of people local to Norfolk, as well as visitors from across Britain who are holidaying in the county.

He said: "Last week we had more holidaymakers than locals, who might be away themselves. 

"We have had a lot of interest for the coming weekend. We think the next big one for the locals will be September 5, just before the children go back to school."

Mr Hadlow said bookings had already been strong for the planned November and December markets, which are set to take on a pre-Christmas, festive feel. 

He said: "We've already had twice as many people ask for stalls as there are places to accommodate them."  

Before this year the last regular Sunday market in Holt was 60 years ago

On market days part of the High Street and some other sections of Holt's roads are closed to cars. Parking is available at a number of locations in the town including Budgens, Albert Street and Station Road.

The markets run 10am-4pm. 

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