County day celebrations should be revived to recognise the role of the shires in boosting tourism and a developing a sense of community, a government minister has said.

More than two dozen historic counties already have designated official days, including Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Northumberland.

Wiltshire Day is celebrated on June 5, with shops and council offices flying the green-and-white county flag.

Jake Berry, from the Department of Communities and Local Government, has called on local authorities to come up with ideas on how their region could celebrate their day, adding there was no better time to do so than in the post-Brexit era.

He told the Daily Telegraph: "As England prepares to (play) its part in a (prosperous) UK outside of the EU, there has never been a better time to recognise the historic counties as an asset to create a sense of community, boost tourism and economic growth."

A number of county days have their roots in tradition, with Dorset opting for the feast day of St Candida, or St Wite, on June 1 in reference to the county's patron saint, while Kent chose May 26, the feast day of the first Archbishop of Canterbury, Augustine.

Other county days are more modern celebrations, with Norfolk and Suffolk designating their days as July 27 and June 21 respectively in the last two years, while the Yorkshire Ridings Society established a day for the county on August 1 in 1975 in response to a restructuring of local government.

Cornwall, Devon, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Shropshire and Sussex also have their county days on the feast days of their patron saints.

According to the Telegraph, the government guidance says: "Historic counties are an important element of English traditions which support the identity and cultures of many of our local communities, giving people a sense of belonging, pride and community spirit.

"They continue to play an important part in the country's sporting and cultural life as well as providing a reference point for local tourism and heritage.

"We should all seek to strengthen the role that they can play."