The Yorkshire Vet star Peter Wright to help choose Downing Street Christmas tree

Yorkshire vet Peter Wright (Photo:        Tony Johnson)
Yorkshire vet Peter Wright (Photo: Tony Johnson)

Growers from across the country will send their prize specimen to the Billingley Christmas Tree Farm, at New Hall Farm in Billingley, on the outskirts of Barnsley next month, as part of the British Christmas Tree Growers Association competition, which has been running since 1999.

And Yorkshire Vet star Peter Wright has been roped in to help by choosing his own favourite tree as winner of the Celebrity Choice Award.

Billingley has been chosen as they are UK distributors of sponsors, forestry equipment firm, HD2412.

The overall winner will provide Downing Street with its Christmas tree, while the winner of the Champion Festive Wreath category will supply the wreath for the door of the Prime Minister’s residence.

Heather Parry, Managing Agent for BCTGA said: “The best Christmas trees in Britain will be brought together in Barnsley for this annual competition and it’s a spectacle to behold, with the judges given an especially tough task to pick a winner.

“It is a wonderful occasion that celebrates the hard work and skill of growers across the UK ahead of their busiest time of the year, and it really does demonstrate the unrivalled quality of local sustainably grown Christmas trees.”

Despite climatic challenges earlier in the year, the supply of UK grown Christmas trees will be as strong as ever this Christmas. The biggest challenges came right at the start of the growing seasons with prolonged hot and dry weather across much of the country. While this did put significant stress on young and newly planted trees, there is little sign of any significant negative impacts on mature, harvest-age trees. The remainder of the growing season has been productive, supporting plentiful growth due to the warm but wet conditions.

British Christmas tree growers are proving to be innovative in response to the challenges posed by testing weather conditions. For example, many growers have moved their planting from Spring to Autumn to give young trees time to establish over the winter months.