As Christmas approaches butchers are seeing their busiest period, with people ordering everything from the turkey centrepiece to pigs in blankets and a side of stuffing.

However, amidst a cost of living crisis where many of us are tightening our belts, plus the avian flu pandemic happening across East Anglia, how are butchers currently faring?

We spoke to butchers in Fakenham and Dereham to see how they are coping.

Sam Papworth, owner of Papworth Farms Butchers, said that Christmas shopping had started around the same time as usual, with people taking advantage of the Christmas club, allowing people to pay off their order in instalments rather than in a lump sum.

He also stressed that he has something for every price point, from free-range turkeys to butterfly joints.

The Fakenham butcher owner said he has been asked constantly by people worried about the availability of turkeys at Christmas.

“At the moment, our supplier is currently clear of bird flu, but that could all change, but there is no reason for anyone to get into a panic because there are other options to a fresh Norfolk turkey,” he said.

Across in Dereham, Jamie Langham, manager of Terry’s butcher, said he has already seen a considerable amount of people buying food and freezing it to make sure they have stuff in for Christmas.

They are however facing an anxious wait for the famous Norfolk turkey, which is not available until Christmas week.

Currently, Mr Langham said their farm supplier is avian flu-free, but is taking people’s names and contact details to make people aware of any changes, and to find alternatives, which they have plenty of.

He expressed uncertainty is affecting the price of his stock week after week, which means getting customers a deal is hard.

He said: “We have a price point for everyone, but it's getting harder to get a deal, as every week something is going up for us.

“One week maybe beef, then the gammons, then chicken goes up, it seems to be progressive, one item every week will go up - there is not a single week where we can offer the same price as the previous one.”