Buy assured British-grown Christmas trees this festive season, CLA urges

The CLA and Grown in Britain are encouraging the public to buy UK-grown Christmas trees this festive season, in a bid to support rural businesses and boost the environment by cutting ‘tree miles’.

Christmas trees are bought in a relatively short period, usually starting from the first weekend of December. But of course, the trees require care throughout the year, which has been particularly challenging with the weather conditions experienced in 2018. This is so that the tree keeps the correct shape, with no distortions and are in perfect health for harvesting.

CLA South West represents thousands of landowners, farmers and rural businesses in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire.

CLA South West Regional Director John Mortimer said: “Buying a locally grown tree means that it may only have been cut a short time before arriving at the retailer, reducing the likelihood of needle drop. Treating the tree with respect by placing it in a water bearing stand and keeping it topped up with water is also important.

“Buying local, whether it is Christmas trees or other seasonal festive produce, helps to contribute to our vibrant rural economy. There is certainly a wide variety of suppliers of local products in our region, from fruit and vegetable growers to award-winning gin distilleries.

“Many people will already be regular visitors to farm shops and farmers markets across the region and be familiar with the products available to them for the festive season. These businesses provide jobs, goods and services for local communities, attract tourism and provide a real boost to our rural economy.

“Small Business Saturday, a campaign which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to shop local, takes place on the first Saturday in December. It provides an important impetus for consumers to support small businesses in their communities, not just in the run up to Christmas, but throughout the year.”

Grown in Britain Chief Executive Dougal Driver said: “The UK has a flourishing Christmas tree growing sector and buying a home grown tree will support rural businesses in Britain and help reduce ‘tree miles’. Last year, £3 million worth of real Christmas trees were imported into the UK, according to Government statistics.

“The Grown in Britain Christmas tree licensing scheme operates throughout the supply chain from growers to retailers and provides the customer with an assurance that the trees are definitely from the UK; grown in a responsible manner with regard to the environment and meet a strict forest floor to shop floor freshness test.”

CLA MEDIA CONTACTS:

For further information: Kim John, CLA Communications Manager South West, 01249 700200 or kim.john@cla.org.uk