A much-loved animal attraction in Norfolk has announced its closure, which has been met with an outpouring of support. 

Norfolk Lavender in Heacham is a popular tourist destination for its stunning fields of purple, which are most vibrant during the summer. 

There are other things to see and do at the site, including a farm shop, a tea room and restaurant and, until recently, the Animal Gardens. 

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However, the latter has now shut, with the announcement made on the Norfolk Lavender Facebook page with a "heavy heart". 

The statement said: "The impact of recent events has been insurmountable, leaving us unable to sustain its operations.

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Eastern Daily Press: The Norfolk Lavender site in Heacham Picture: Google MapsThe Norfolk Lavender site in Heacham Picture: Google Maps (Image: Google Maps)

"We are truly saddened by this outcome, as it means the loss of an attraction that we know our visitors love."

It continued: "Please join us in bidding a fond farewell to the Animal Gardens - a place that will forever hold a special place in our hearts."

Following the announcement, the Facebook post was inundated with comments of people sharing their memories, with high praise for the staff that worked there. 

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Speaking to this paper, Maria Vinen, of Norfolk Lavender, said: "We have made the difficult decision to close the animal park because very sadly it was unsustainable in the current economic climate.

"Our focus is always with regards to the welfare of our animals and the team will be working hard to ensure that they are rehomed in the coming months. 

"While this chapter comes to a close, we believe that our exciting new developments will provide an opportunity to further enrich our visitor experiences and promote Norfolk Lavender.

"We will keep you updated regarding our redevelopments, please keep an eye on our social media as we will be posting on there."