One of Cornwall's most famous Christmas lights displays has been cancelled this year.

The trustees and committee of Mousehole Harbour Lights announced this afternoon that after "lengthy consideration" to this year's display, it had been decided to cancel this year's lights due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a joint statement from chairman Peter Taylor and vice chairman Ian Morris, the committee said: "The future situation at the time of this decision, with lockdown and self-isolation very much in place, is still most uncertain and in view of the timescale involved in maintaining, building and erecting the lights a decision had to be made sooner rather than later.

"A great deal of work by the team of volunteers, working in groups, must be undertaken to prepare, build and maintain the displays between now and September, at which time work would need to begin on the erection of the displays, which would normally continue up until the switch on of the lights prior to Christmas."

They said that the main considerations taken into account with this decision were the safety of volunteers - many of which are aged over 70 - and the wider population in the village of Mousehole.

"It was felt that, notwithstanding any extension of isolation policies, we could not risk bringing into the village 3,000 visitors to the traditional Switch On Night Carolaire and some 30,000 visitors over the three-week lights period, with the consequent risk of transmission of infection," they said.

"Whilst we regret that local businesses may not receive the benefit of their usual increased trade during the period of the lights, we believe that in view of the general safety considerations, this decision will be welcomed by the wider community of Mousehole."

The committee said it wanted to give local businesses, accommodation providers and potential visitors as much notice as possible, hence making this announcement at the earliest opportunity.

It would now actively promote the information that there will be no Mousehole Harbour Lights this year, to discourage visitors from arriving in the village to view them and being faced with disappointment at Christmas.

Chairman Mr Taylor said: "It was with heavy hearts that we made the decision not to deploy our displays this year, for only the second time in our 57 year history, but the safety of the residents of Mousehole overrode all other considerations. We will be back in 2021.”

It is hoped that next year's lights will include a new display to recognise and give thanks to the NHS and all essential workers who have who carried the country through the Covid-19 emergency.