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CHRISTMAS TREES: Buy local to boost rural business and go green

Tuesday 3rd December 2019



AN INFLUENTIAL landowners’ body has called on the public to buy locally-grown Christmas trees this festive season to support rural businesses and help the environment.
The CLA (South East) says growers spend all year tending their product for a short selling period. Challenging weather conditions in 2019 have made that work even harder, so that the trees are in perfect health for harvesting.
Regional Director Michael Valenzia 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.
“Buying local contributes to a vibrant rural economy. There is a wide variety of suppliers in our area, from fruit and vegetable growers to award-winning sparkling wine producers.
“Many people will already be regular visitors to farm shops and farmers’ markets. These businesses provide jobs, goods and services for local communities, attract tourism and boost our economy.”
There is also virtually no carbon footprint when the trees are bought at the farms where they were grown.
Rob Schroeder, of Kingswood Christmas Trees in Kingswood and a CLA member, is doing a brisk trade at his farm, but has had to open a shop, cafe, hire reindeer, and a Father Christmas to make the business thrive.
He said: “It’s a tough business, very weather dependent and a short time span to sell your goods.
“We’ve just put in new toilets and a whole, new building onsite, which is an investment. But it’s only one of several things I do.”
A recent report published by Grown in Britain highlighted a risk that imported Christmas trees could allow tree pests and diseases to enter the UK.
Grown in Britain chief executive Dougal Driver said: “Buying a real Christmas tree is a sustainable choice, which also supports the rural economy. ”