SUNDAY markets at Alderford Lake are to be stopped after a decline in customer numbers - but new plans are being put in place to support local businesses.

The markets had gained popularity throughout 2020, especially during the periods when Whitchurch's town centre market was not being run.

But management at the lake say that with local businesses reopening and the end of lockdown, numbers attending the market – both buying and selling – have declined.

But plans could be announced in the next few days to form a new way to support local businesses through Alderford.

Alderford Lake said the traditional Christmas Market would still be held though, and urged people to continue to back local businesses.

"Sadly, we have taken the decision to cease our Sunday markets going forward," a post on the Lake's social media pages said.

"Unfortunately, we have seen a steady decline of customers and traders this year.

"We started out the Sunday markets with the ethos to help small businesses and encourage our customers to shop local.

"[Last year] was incredible and our markets had such a fantastic buzz about them but unfortunately, we have not seen this through 2021.

"We understand the world has changed significantly and we are starting to see normal times return.

"On a positive however, we are really excited to bring back our Christmas Markets on November 27-28 and December 4-5.

"Bookings for this are now open, please visit our website and follow the book now button.

"New and existing traders interested in a stall, please do get in touch on

"We would like to take this opportunity to wish every one of our traders all the very best in the future, we thank them for their support, they helped make our 2020 Sunday market a huge success.

"It has been an honour and a privilege to get to know these small businesses and the people behind them.

"You will still be able to enjoy your favourite pop up food traders over the weekends, and weather dependent midweek too – We will announce these each day.

"Please do continue to shop local."

Meanwhile, parkruns will return to the lake, although dates have not been announced.

The post added: "We have some totally awesome news, Parkrun UK has granted us permission for the Alderford Parkrun to return.

"We’ve missed all the parkrun runners, spectators and volunteers.

"Please do remember Parkrun is run by volunteers and Alderford is the host venue so please ensure you follow their page for the latest updates Alderford Lake parkrun.

"We are working with the Parkrun team of volunteers at the moment to organise logistics and dates so please be patient.

"Once we have further information we will post, but for now just yay!"