A FOOD festival designed to celebrate venison proved a huge success, with the food selling out in a matter of hours.

The first Dorset Venison and Food Festival was held at Post Green Farm, near Lytchett Minster, and featured an amazing array of dishes made from deer.

These included venison ragu, chilli and paella, as well as chops, steaks, sausages, burgers and a spit-roast.

Katharine Wright, Dorset Food and Drink co-ordinator, said: "We really wanted to raise awareness of venison and the availability of it so close to the location we were in.

"And we must have achieved that because all the venison had sold out by 1pm. There were people there who had never eaten venison before but were keen to try it and I spoken to several people who said they had come purely for the venison.

"That was great because this was a new thing and you never know how it will go down. There are deer all over Dorset but primarily southern Dorset and there are a lot on the Arne estate. It needs managing so encouraging people to try venison is really useful."

The event also featured almost 50 stall holders, selling a wide range of locally-produced food and drink. And there was entertainment including music, Morris dancing, maypole dancing and antler racing.