This week, shoppers are being asked what they love about their local high street.

After a year and a bit like no other which has seen many businesses shut down across the country, it’s little wonder just over half of people feel “pessimistic” about their main shopping street’s future.

Historic England is on a journey to try and change that and is asking people up and down the nation for their favourite memories and spots in their high streets, with the public body working to secure the future of more than 60 historic high streets across England.

With Historic England’s campaign in mind, we decided to ask shoppers in Watford what they liked about the town’s high street.

Watford Observer: Atria Watford shopping centre extension Atria Watford shopping centre extension

Of those we spoke to, most were complimentary of the £180 million expansion of Atria Watford – formerly intu – which has seen the addition of leisure facilities like a cinema and bowling alley, along with new shops and restaurants.

Mel Kelly said: "The expansion is really good, I love the cinema. But I’d like to see a bit more investment down Lower High Street"

The 52-year-old from Oxhey said she much preferred Watford town centre to Uxbridge for example, which she knows well, although Ms Kelly said she would like to see more independent businesses in Watford, and a big department store back in town after the losses of John Lewis, Debenhams, and BHS over the years.

Watford Observer: Watford High StreetWatford High Street

Susan O’Neill, who has lived in Watford for nearly 48 years, said she liked Watford more than Hemel Hempstead and praised the refurbished part of the high street and the shopping centre extension.

Ms O’Neill, who was waiting for a bus, also said she would like to see more independent businesses in Watford, and said she would like to see a new cake shop or tearoom open.

She added: "It is very important to have a vibrant town centre. People can come into town and it can help lift your spirits seeing people around. I’m confident Watford can thrive. It is much better than Hemel."

Watford Observer: The section of High Street most recently refurbishedThe section of High Street most recently refurbished

Kevin Hanlon and his wife Christine had travelled from Harrow to Watford on Saturday.

After some lunch at L’Artista, Mrs Hanlon said she didn’t recognise the town, having last visited the section between Clarendon Road the extension, two years ago. She added that she loved the flowers which have been put in by Watford Business Improvement District.

They remarked on how busy the town was, which they said was a good thing, but had been disappointed to learn that John Lewis had closed.

Mr Hanlon did say he would to have seen less rubbish and dirt on the roads and pavements.

Watford Observer: Watford High Street Watford High Street

Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said: "Throughout history high streets have been our gathering places; centres of commerce, conversation and community. They help make where we live unique and special.

"Nearly half of all high streets were built before 1919. They are one of the most visited and enjoyed types of heritage in the country, a connection to our past and a key to our future. We know they are struggling, and their future is uncertain, and we think this is a timely moment to ask people about their future and consider the part we can all play in supporting these important places."

To share what you love about the high street use #HighStreetLove via @HistoricEngland until Sunday September 26.