THERE’S nothing like a visit to a traditional butcher when on the lookout for good quality local produce.

Conversations over the glass-fronted counter have been at the heart of local communities for generations.

But changes have been necessary at WMH Farm Fresh Meats in Haydon Bridge over the past three months.

The long-established business has overcome the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic to continue serving its community.

Instead of walking inside the premises, on Church Street, customers have made transactions at the doorway, over a two-metre long table to ensure social distancing.

“It’s worked very well” said proprietor Tom Stephenson. “People have been phoning in to make orders, and collecting them at the door with contactless card payments.

“Customers can still turn up without making orders. Queuing along the pavement has proved effective, and people have been very understanding of the circumstances, and the importance of safety.”

The business has also provided a delivery service to customers who are self isolating, and those who are unable to attend in person.

“As a community butcher, we’re providing a service and we’ve tried to continue that and adapt to the current circumstances, said Mr Stephenson.

In addition to traditional meat products, the shop also provides homemade pies and other pastry offerings, as well as freshly made meal options, such as beef truffles and stir fries. The business, which was shortlisted at the 2018 Countryside Alliance Awards, usually provides catering for events, including weddings, fairs and shows, but those commitments have understandably taken a back seat for the time being.