A prestigious competition to decide who supplies this year’s Christmas tree for Downing Street will be held by the British Christmas Tree Growers Association in South Yorkshire next month.
Expert growers from across the UK will attempt to wow the judges with their finest homegrown trees at Billingley Christmas Tree Farm, based at New Hall Farm in Billingley, Barnsley on Thursday 19th October.
The event is kindly sponsored by HD2412, suppliers of equipment for the production of real Christmas trees, together with their UK distributor Billingley Christmas Trees Ltd.
One overall winner will take the title of Champion Christmas Tree Grower of the Year 2023 and will provide the Downing Street Christmas tree this December. The winner of the Champion Festive Wreath category will supply the wreath for the door of the Prime Minister’s residence.
Organised by the British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA), the annual competition has been running since 1999.
This year, growers will be hosted at the competition day by special guest Peter Wright, star of Channel 5’s The Yorkshire Vet for what promises to be a fantastic celebration of this great British industry. Peter will be tasked with picking his own favourite tree as winner of the Celebrity Choice Award.
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.
With this year’s supply of trees looking in great shape, the British public can continue to choose locally sourced Christmas trees, minimizing their ‘tree miles’ and supporting skilled independent British growers.
- The British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA) is the trade association for UK growers of Christmas Trees in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Visit www.bctga.co.uk and see @BCTGA
- The BCTGA was first established in 1980 and now has more than 320 members.
- BCTGA members abide by a Code of Practice to promote trees being grown in an environmental and sustainable way.
- The BCTGA is managed by Yorkshire Agricultural Society (YAS), a registered charity which supports and promotes the farming industry through health care, education and funding scientific research into rural affairs.
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