REPORTS are coming through of multiple elves hiding in shop windows around Petersfield town centre.

Families have been encouraged to join the hunt with around 80 taking residence in shops and firms around the town.

The third annual trail was launched by Michelle Bicknell of Hectors and is completely free to enter.

She said: “You’ve got all these amazing independent shops taking part which people aren’t necessarily going to know."

Maps are available from participating shops with donations from the event going to The Rosemary Foundation. So put on your deerstalker, grab a magnifying glass and get looking.

There’s another great excuse to go elf hunting tonight as more than 30 independent retailers and businesses are opening for their doors for a late night shopping event.

Many of the participating shops – look for flyers in their windows – around the town centre will be open until 8pm.

There will also be free parking in Petersfield’s car parks from 3pm to encourage trade while many of the participating stores will have special offers and festive food to entice shoppers.