An envelope full of £20 notes was left on the festival organiser’s chairman doorstep.

Organisers of Barnstaple’s Elephant Day have been left stunned by a random act of kindness.

When an envelope was posted through the letter box, Rebecca James handed it to her father Terrance James.

When the 47-year-old opened it, he discovered an anonymous donation of £500 in £20 notes.

There were no signs of who had left the money, just a typed message saying ‘for Elephant Day, a gift’.

Mr James said: “When I saw the envelope I started shaking. It was a shock to say the least.

“My daughter said she had never seen so much money in her life.

“It just goes to show there are still some kind-hearted people around.”

“We’d just like to thank whoever did it so much; it’s going to go to a really good cause.”

The community day, which celebrates the discovery of elephant fossils in Barnstaple in 1844, takes place on July 23.

Now in its ninth year, the day is set to include a collaboration between the Plough Arts Centre and Forches Cross Primary School, performances, stalls and rides.

Funds raised from this year’s event will go to Parkinson’s UK’s Barnstaple branch.

The Elephant Day Committee recently secured funding from Barnstaple Rotary Club, in addition to a grant from Barnstaple Town Council.

Fossils from the elephant’s tusks can be found in the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon, while the teeth reside in the Natural History Museum.