HARTFORD has shown its love for Chester Zoo by raising £1,100 thanks to a raffle organised by a village nursery.

Hartford Old School House Nursery wanted to do something in support of the tourist attraction after hearing how it had struggled during the coronavirus lockdown.

At one stage, there was a very real fear that the zoo would be forced to close permanently due to the funds required to feed the animals.

But this huge donation will go some way to ensure the zoo can continue to operate and show love towards the animals in its care.

“Everyone at the nursery has spent some time at Chester Zoo over the years,” said team member Victoria Coughlin.

“Staff went there as children and take their own children now they are adults, so when we heard that it was struggling, we wanted to do something to help.

“It was during lockdown when we decided to help, so we wanted something where people didn’t have to come together.

“We usually do concerts and other events which people can attend and enjoy, but as we couldn’t organise something like that this time, we decided to hold a raffle and people could buy tickets on PayPal instead of using cash.”

The fundraiser was a real community effort, with more than 30 village businesses donating prizes, despite themselves suffering during lockdown.

And the nursery offered the opportunity to name one of its baby ducks as one of its prizes, which was affectionately named Lily.

Victoria added that nursery staff were over the moon to have raised so much and thanked village for getting involved.

The businesses that donated include: The Hart of Hartford, Hartford Hounds, Tail Trails of Cheshire, Ginger and Browns, Hartford Wealth Management, Story Estates, Puppy School, Cheeky Little Souls, Littler’s Butchers, Arcadia Rig and Spa, Fresh Floral Designs, Gifts and Party, Wholesale Health, Fitmums, Northwich Rotary Club, Scrumptious Sweets, Hartford Sandwich Shop, Snack Rack, Bruce Ursell, The Badger, Cheshire Cheesecakes, Hartford Co-op, Clear Living, Trophy Pet Foods, The Hollies, Eithane Curbishley, Willows Bridal, Cutting Hedge Planters, Vale Royal Reflexology, Yoga Warriors, Gareth West Hair, Philip Yale Photography, Stockley Birds of Prey, Susan Howarth and Co, Deja Vu Nails and Tropical Skincare.