THIS time of the year would normally see many thousands of visitors flocking to the nation's tourist attractions - like the Foxfield Railway in the Staffordshire Moorlands.
But like all-other popular haunts of pleasure-seekers, lockdown has meant shutdown for the Foxfield, because of the 'social distancing' rules imposed by Government to combat the spread of Covid-19 [coronavirus].
This means the heritage railway, which has its base at Cash Heath, near Caverswall, no longer has regular income it needs from visitors to keep it in working order
A Foxfield spokesman said: "Foxfield has closed its doors for the foreseeable future, to help everyone to stay safe, protect the NHS and save lives.
"We will not re open until we can ensure the safety of all our visitors, volunteers and members".
In a bid to overcome its loss of income the Foxfield has launched a £5,000 appeal to supporters, which is already halfway to reaching its target.
The Foxfield spokesman added: "We can't thank you enough for the support you have shown us over the years and we are asking you to support us again.
"All donations will help one of Britain' s oldest heritage railways to have a bright future.
"Together we can make new memories and create exciting new events and experiences for our community and beyond".
The railway operates on a branch line built in 1892-1893 to provide a link from the main line at Blythe Bridge to Foxfield Colliery at Dilhorne.
When the colliery closed in August 1965, local volunteers formed the Foxfield Light Railway Society to preserve the line.
At first, passengers were taken in converted trucks up the formidable 1:19 to 1:26 gradient out of the colliery site at Dilhorne, pulled by a tank engine.
Eventually, new coaches were purchased and a station was built at Caverswall Road, just up the road from Blythe Bridge village.
The heritage line service runs for just over two miles (3.6 km) from Caverswall Road to the top of Foxfield Bank.
Today's facilities at the Caverswall Road side include a station buffet serving hot and cold refreshments, a gift shop, a museum area housing locomotives and artefacts currently out of use.
There is also 'The Foxfield Arms' bar serving a range of beers, wines and spirits.
The spokesman added: "We now need to raise funds to ensure the survival of the railway and give it the best possible chances to thrive for future generations.
"Every donation makes a difference - simply visit our Just Giving appeal"
To donate go to:.