Crowds gather for Tenbury Wells mistletoe and holly auction

People flocked from as far away as Scotland, London and Norfolk to bid on lots of mistletoe and holly at a sale that has been running for over 160 years.

The annual mistletoe markets are at Burford House Garden Store in Tenbury Wells, run by Nick Champion auctioneers.

The sales see tonnes of holly and mistletoe auctioned off along with wreaths and Christmas trees.

This year's sales were held over two Tuesdays, one less than usual.

Nick said: "We had a big entry of nearly 1,000 lots of mistletoe.

"Things started off quite well but the interest started to decrease later in the day.

"Holly was a fairly good trade all the way through, we had about 3,000 holly wreaths.

"There was a good number of buyers but perhaps not as many as normal. It was very deer last year and people perhaps didn't make much on it do didn't come back."

The mistletoe plant has been important to Tenbury for centuries. There are large amounts of mistletoe on the many orchards around the market town with the plant having the perfect growing conditions in the many apple trees.

The mistletoe and holly auction in Tenbury Wells

Holly is a companion plant for mistletoe and both Christmas staples are available to bid on at the auctions, as well as wreaths and Christmas trees.

The auctions are open to wholesalers, garden centre retailers, florists, market stall holders and the public, with many buyers travelling to Tenbury from all over the UK to purchase the plants.

Nick has personally overseen the sales every year since 1977.

He said: "It has been going a long time, it is a real tradition. Lots of people look forward to the mistletoe and holly sales every year.

"Some of the people that come to buy have been coming for 30 odd years."

The town has had a long association with the sale of mistletoe and holly going back over a hundred years.

In 2004, the Tenbury Mistletoe Association successfully petitioned Parliament to recognise December 1 as National Mistletoe Day.

The town is very proud of its association with mistletoe and the fact that it hosts the only remaining markets on the last Tuesday of November and the first two Tuesdays in December.

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