A PET shop owner has said she is closing down her business as children were more interested in 'cyber pets' than real animals.

Barbara Ingham has run Pets Corner in Bank Street, Rawtenstall, for 22 years.

But she said internet shopping and cut price supermarkets had led to the death of the high street.

The 65-year-old, of Cowpe Road, Cowpe, said: “We are simply being forced to close because business is so bad.

"Children no longer want to care for a rabbit or a guinea pig as they have cyber pets they can pick up and put down.

“Youngsters nowadays can literally have a pet puppy or kitten at the touch of a button with the added bonus of no mess.

“The big supermarkets haven’t helped either. We noticed business starting to drop as soon as Asda opened.

"They stock the same products as we do and sell them cheaper than I am able to buy them wholesale.”

The shop was first opened by Mr and Mrs Wilcocks before it was taken over by Barry Crabtree and then Barbara.

She said: “Our regular customers have been really upset that we are closing.

“I can’t thank them enough for supporting me all these years.

“But I’ve got to say I think Bank Street has gone too far to be revived.

"In a short stretch of Bank Street there are seven empty shops and a couple of charity shops.

“I think that is the way it is heading, streets filled with charity shops. People have got out of the habit of nipping to their local high street. Years ago you wouldn’t have been able to move in the centre of Rawtenstall on market day, but not now.

“I don’t even think Mary Portas will be able to turn things around.”

The shop will open for the last day on Monday.