26 July 2002

Sheep special greets Norwich

NORWICH Market will open its gates for the first time on Aug 12 for a special sale of breeding sheep.

The site at Harford Bridges has been inspected by DEFRA and the Trading Standards Office and has met the necessary standards to reopen.

The first sale will be breeding sheep only, followed by weekly sales of slaughter cattle and sheep beginning on Sept 16.

Over 2000 entries have already been booked for the first sheep sale, which Peter Howell, the Norfolk farmer who heads up the consortium that has leased the site from Norwich City Council, is pleasantly surprised about.

"To get that amount of sheep in East Anglia is quite surprising, but there are no other markets for some distance. This is why I think the market might be viable."

Mr Howell says he has lined up a couple of abattoirs willing to support the market and hopes that local farmers will use the site so that it gets the number of stock it needs to be a success. &#42