A HEART-warming nativity scene has long been a traditional part of the festive season.

And organisers of the annual Christmas in the Triangle event in Southampton delighted locals by staging a “living nativity” with live animals.

An area next to a building known at The Old Chemist at Bitterne Park Triangle was transformed into a small stable full of cuddly creatures.

They were supplied by Alton-based Mill Cottage Farm Experience, run by Sarah and Tom Main.

Children made a beeline for the animals and also had a chance to meet nine-month-old Astor, one of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels that live on the couple’s smallholding.

Other attractions included beer tasting at the Butcher’s Hook and hot food outside Miss Ellie’s Cafe – plus a chance to meet Father Christmas.

The family fun day was staged by Bitterne traders and churches in the area.

Groups taking part included the Bitterne Park Singers Community Choir and St Denys Messy Church, which offered free craft activities for children.

Roads remained open but stewards were on hand to

make sure the traffic slowed down.

One of the organisers, retired teacher Shirley Webster, said: “Christmas in the Triangle is an annual event that’s been running for five or six years.

“It’s a chance for the community to come together and support the local traders, who organise special events and special deals.

“It has a good reputation and tends to draw the crowds. We normally see between 200 and 300 people.”