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NEWS RELEASE No: 1663023 NOVEMBER 2016


Follow the elves’ journey and experience a magical Christmas with Forestry Commission England


Family choosing Christmas tree

Escape the shops, wrap up warm, enjoy the Christmassy scent of pine trees, and get into the festive spirit this year in England’s national woods and forests.

As experts in trees Santa has given Forestry Commission England Christmas trees his 100% stamp of approval and has sent his top elves’ into our forests to seek an amazing real Christmas tree for his home.

From the end of November you can join the elves on their quest to find Santa’s perfect tree and take part in our Christmas tree trail. Located at 16 Forestry Commission sites across England the trail has lots of fun Christmas activities for the family to enjoy – from building mini homes for the elves to making natural decorations for your tree when you get home!

Real Christmas trees are available directly from our forests at 17 sites across England.  All trees come with a free sapling and a 100% Santa Approved certificate which includes some fun activities for all to enjoy!

There is also so much more to offer than just buying a tree. Many of our sales centres offer a whole Christmas experience including a Santa’s grotto and a whole range of activities for both little and big kids to get into the festive spirit including:

• Taking a picture with Santa and his elves in one of the festive selfie scenes
• The annual Enchanted Christmas illuminated tree trail display at The National Arboretum at Westonbirt, Gloucestershire from 25th November
• Stick Man Activity Trails in the Midlands and North England
• Yuletide carolling in Haldon Forest, Devon on 14th December
• Festive storytellers at Delamere Forest, Cheshire
• Chocolate and Christmas craft making workshops at various locations

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'.

ENDS
Notes to editors

1. 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.  http://www.forestry.gov.uk/england-about-uk

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission. http://www.forestry.gov.uk/englandsforests

2. Forestry Commission England sells around 50,000 Christmas trees each year from 17 Christmas tree sales centres.

Christmas tree trail centres:

1. Alice Holt, Surrey
2. Cannock Chase Forest, Staffordshire
3. Cardinham Woods, Cornwall
4. Delamere Forest, Cheshire
5. Dalby, North York Moors
6. Haldon Forest Park, Exeter
7. Hamsterley Forest, Durham
8. Moors Valley, East Dorset
9. Sherwood Pines, Nottinghamshire
10. Whinlatter Forest, Cumbria
11. Abbotts Wood, Sussex
12.  Haughmond Hill, Shropshire
13. Kielder water and Forest Park, Northumberland
14. Leigh Woods, Bristol
15. Grizedale Forest, Cumbria
16. Beechenhurst, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire

Christmas tree sale centres:

1. Haldon Forest Park, Exeter
2. Sherwood Pines, Nottinghamshire
3. Birches Valley, Cannock Chase, Staffordshire
4. Delamere Forest, Cheshire
5. Moors Valley, East Dorset
6. Alice Holt, Surrey
7. Queen Elizabeth Country Park, Hampshire
8. New Park, Hampshire
9. Bedgebury Pinetum, Kent
10. Wendover Woods, Aylesbury
11. Hamsterley Forest, Durham
12. Whinlatter Forest, Cumbria
13. Rothbury Forest, Rothbury
14. Dalby Forest, North York Moors
15. Guisborough Forest, North Yorkshire
16. Cardinham Woods, Cornwall
17. Grizedale Forest, Cumbria

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!