On Friday 25 November, haulage contractors Robert and Lewis Scott set off to London with a very special delivery from the Forestry Commission for the Palace of Westminster. They were delivering three Christmas trees which included a 50ft Sika Spruce that was being put next to Big Ben, a 25ft tree for Westminster Hall, and a 20ft tree for the Speakers State rooms.
Steve Orton, one of the Kielder Works Supervisors, felled the trees at a secret location in the Forest. Ian Green, Kielder Beat Forester, coordinates the whole operation with officials from the Palace of Westminster and says:
“We have been providing the Palace of Westminster with a Christmas tree for over 10 years and are always delighted to be able to show off our Forestry Commission trees at such an iconic location. The felling and preparation of the trees takes at least a day which Steve has done for the last 4 years. We then hand over the R&H Scott for the transport to London.”
Father and son team from R&H Scott Stonehaugh, Northumberland have been making this trip with the trees for a number of years and look forward to it every year. The 70ft wagons have to be carefully manoeuvred through the Palace gates so that the trees can be taken off the trailer by crane.
Thanks to all of Santa’s little helpers, three of Kielder’s magnificent Christmas trees have now taken centre stage in London again to be admired throughout the festive season.
If you’re seeking your own tree, real Christmas trees are available for one weekend only, on the 3 and 4 December at Kielder Castle visitor centre, alongside their annual Christmas fair. Trees are also being sold at Hamsterley Forest from 1 Dec until 11 Dec and at another 16 Forestry Commission England sites. All trees come with a free sapling and a 100% Santa Approved certificate which includes some fun activities for all to enjoy.
For more information about all the festive fun on offer this Christmas visit: www.forestry.gov.uk/christmas.
And if you’re looking for a more unusual Christmas present this year, give the gift of the Forest with a Discovery Pass annual membership or how about some concert tickets from our 'live music in unique locations'.
Notes to Editor
- The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. The North England Forest District looks after forests in Cumbria, Lancashire, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and County Durham.
- Forestry Commission England sells around 50,000 Christmas trees each year from 17 Christmas tree sales centres. A full list of centres is at www.forestry.gov.uk/christmas
What are the advantages of real over fake Christmas trees?
- Real trees are a renewable resource – another tree is planted for every one harvested
- It has been estimated that real trees used 10-times less basic materials and 5-times less energy than artificial trees
- Real trees are totally biodegradable and can be recycled and made into compost
- Real trees are the traditional option and also provide a Christmassy scent
- Growing real Christmas trees helps sustain the UK rural economy and provides jobs
Why you should you buy a real Christmas tree from the Forestry Commission?
- The Forestry Commission only sells trees that are grown in a sustainable manner in the UK - for every tree harvested another is replanted.
- Every tree sold will come with a free sapling, allowing you to plant and grow you own real Christmas tree.
- Environmental factors are considered carefully on sites where Forestry Commission trees are taken from.
- The Forestry Commission endeavours to provide excellent quality trees, with good needle retention, in a range of species including the traditional Norway spruce, dense, bushy pines and shapely firs.
- The large number and choice of species available on site provides a very good range to select from - your ideal tree will be there somewhere
- Many of our sales centres offer much more than just buying a tree, but a whole Christmas experience, with a Santa's grotto, and a whole range of activities for both little and big kids to get into the festive spirit!