DOZENS of independent shops around Taunton have got together to encourage people to Shop Local for Christmas.

The county town is blessed with an incredible number of small independent shops.

The huge variety of shops ranges from butchers to bakers, greengrocers to book shops, gift shops to florists, sweet shops to clothes shops and many more.

Susie Thomas, from Rocket and Bird gift shop in St James Street, is behind the Shop Local campaign.

She said: "I want to showcase the people behind these small businesses - the people who show up throughout the year, not just at Christmas - who offer a warm welcome, a great service and who are bringing something different to Taunton.

"I know the term ‘ghost town’ gets thrown around a lot when people hear of another large national closing on the high street, but the reality is Taunton is lucky to have such a wonderful selection of small shops and I want to show people just how many we have."

Somerset County Gazette: Susie has created a poster urging people to support independent businesses using the slogan 'This Christmas Taunton NEEDS YOU'.

She has also photographed 60 of the independents holding the poster in front of their stock.

"Seeing the faces behind the shops and the sheer number of them really brings it home just how many we have in the town," added Susie.