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11 DECEMBER 2012 NEWS RELEASE No: 15772

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Experience a Christmas full of cheer with the Forestry Commission

Wrap up warm this Christmas and infuse yourself with seasonal spirit by discovering fun festive events, magical woodland walks and wonderful wintery workshops being held throughout England at Forestry Commission woods and forests.

You can also indulge in the extra special custom of choosing the perfect tree. Our sales centres across England offer a wide selection of renewably resourced trees to choose from. What better way to signal the start of the Christmas season than by bringing back a tree that fills your home with the Yuletide scent and ambience that only a real tree can provide?

All our Christmas trees are cultivated in well–managed UK plantations, and for each tree that is harvested, at least one more is planted, ensuring sustainability. You will also be lightening your carbon footprint as real trees use five times less energy and ten times fewer materials than artificial trees.

Dominic Robinson, Manager at the Forestry Commission’s National Pinetum at Bedgebury, Kent, said

“The best way to look after your tree is by asking us to cut an inch off the bottom of your tree, standing the trunk in cold water and keeping it in a cool part of the room next to a window. Don’t put it near radiators and don’t get tempted to put soil or sand in the stand – it’ll just restrict water being drawn up. Christmas trees are like flowers – they need regular watering and a cool temperature. This is the best way to make sure those pesky needles stay on the tree”

If this isn’t enough, the Forestry Commission will be holding their popular festive events, which are always a hit with adults and children alike. This year is no different, with many sites across England offering wreath making workshops, Christmas food and craft fairs and festive lunches to name but a few, details of which can be found on our website.

You can celebrate Christmas with the Forestry Commission online, too. Our online shop sells a variety of great gifts from bug mansions and camera nest boxes to Hedgerow Hampers and FSC certified Christmas trees – all of which are delivered straight to your door.

There really is something for everybody to enjoy this season, so pull on your woollies and visit one of the Forestry Commission woodlands and forests for a guaranteed Christmassy day out.

For more information, please visit www.forestry.gov.uk

Notes to Editors

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. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands.

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.
  • 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 displayed 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!

Media contact: Sara Chan sara.chan@forestry.gsi.gov.uk 0117 372 5107