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National Trust and Cadbury end Easter egg hunt partnership

The family-friendly egg hunts take place in National Trust properties and gardens around the country. Credit: Cadbury/PA

The National Trust and Cadbury are ending their joint Easter egg hunts in a move welcomed by children's health campaigners.

The joint venture saw family-friendly trails for Cadbury chocolate through National Trust properties around the country - but 2020 will be the final year the events take place.

The partnership has faced controversy in recent years over claims the confectionery giant used unsustainable palm oil in its chocolate.

In 2017 the companies faced criticism from then prime minister Theresa May and the Archbishop of Canterbury after the word "Easter" was dropped from their branding.

2020 will be the final years the two companies host their joint egg hunts. Credit: PA

A spokesperson for the National Trust said this year's Easter hunts with Cadbury would go ahead as planned, but for the final time.

They added: "Now is the time for change as we look to increase our emphasis on nature and the outdoors.

"To reflect that in our Easter activities, from next year we will be making chocolate less of a focus.

"For this reason, it is the right time for us to end a partnership associated so uniquely with chocolate."

Chocolatiers building a giant chocolate egg at Cadbury World in Birmingham. Credit: PA

A spokesperson for Cadbury said the company and the Trust had come to a decision to end the "wonderful" partnership saying "the time is right".

They added: "Cadbury will continue to celebrate great family moments and work with great partners like the National Trust.

"For now we're working to make sure that this year's Easter egg trails are the best ever."

Co-ordinator for the Children's Food Campaign, Barbara Crowther, welcomed the move, she said: "We're really pleased to hear that the National Trust wants to make chocolate less of a focus for its Easter activity.

"We can imagine so many healthy, fun and active ways for children to explore National Trust properties at Easter that don't involve lots of sugary treats."