UK/Tuddenham St Martin: High stakes as Christmas tree growers bid for Downing Street accolade

Harry Brightwell, secretary of the British Christmas Tree Growers’ Association, who is based at Fynn

Harry Brightwell, secretary of the British Christmas Tree Growers Association, who is based at Fynn Valley Farm, Tuddenham St Martin, Ipswich - Credit: Archant

Christmas tree growers from around the UK are bidding for the chance to present the tree which will take pride of place at the official residence of the Prime Minister this festive season.

More than 100 growers will take part in a national competition organised by the British Christmas Tree Growers’ Association on today in Oxfordshire.

The event will see the hopeful contenders – who span in age from 18 to 80 – coming together to showcase their trees to expert growers, and be judged by fellow members.

Each farmer, who will have spent around 10 years nurturing the tree to full ‘competition’ height, is able to enter categories including Best Nordman, Best Other Fir, Best Pine, Best Norway Spruce, Best Other Spruce, Best Container Grown, and Best Festive Wreath.

Finalists can submit only one tree into each category, and trees entered must be commercially cultivated and be 1.8 metres ( +/- 400mms) high from base to tip. Each will be judged for foliage, colour, shape and marketability.


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Following the verdict from the prestigious competition day, the winning grower will supply Downing Street’s 20ft Christmas tree, while the winner of the wreath category will create a wreath to hang at the front door of Number 10.

Harry Brightwell, who is secretary of the British Christmas Tree Growers’ Association and is based at Fynn Valley Farm, Tuddenham St Martin near Ipswich, said: “This is the 16th year of our nationwide competition and we are always impressed by the exceptional standard of entry.

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“The fact that the winner is able to be responsible for delivering a tree to Downing Street makes the contest all the more special.

“We view the competition as a chance to recognise what incredible year-round work goes into being a Christmas tree farmer. We wish all our finalists the very best of luck at the October contest.”

To follow progress around the competition, which will take place at Greenfield Farm in Watlington, follow the Association on twitter @BCTGA.

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