THE organiser of a popular farmers' market has praised the public for adhering to social distancing guidelines.

Hexham Farmers' Market made a triumphant return on Saturday for the first time in three months.

Prior to the event, organiser Peter Samson said introducing safety measures in line with Covid-19 had presented the biggest challenge in the event's 20-year history.

But afterwards, a delighted Mr Samson said: "It was a very good day, and I am pleased with how it developed. For once, a slow start with a bit of rain was welcomed because it allowed us to test our new systems without too many people being there. Overall the response from producers and customers was fantastic, and everyone worked hard to ensure social distancing and keep each other safe."

The farmers' market went ahead with half the number of stalls as usual, with more space in between each one. Pedestrian access was restricted, stewards were on hand to ensure regulations were being adhered to, and hand sanitiser was used.

The farmers' market is due to return on Saturday, June 2, but Mr Samsom said there would be no rush to increase the number of stalls.

"That is the next challenge," he said. "As a town we are working to increase the pedestrian space, and we'll work on these challenges."