Tree-mendous news for Shropshire's Christmas tree farms

The owners of Shropshire's Christmas tree farms are gearing up to welcome visitors after a relaxation in the November Covid lockdown.

Steve Jones, from Winston Farm in a previous Christmas season
Steve Jones, from Winston Farm in a previous Christmas season

While non-essential shops remain closed for another nine days, the government has said that Christmas tree farms can now open.

It is part of the move to ensure the festive season can still go ahead.

The move has come just in time for those owning and working at the regions' Christmas tree outlets.

They had feared that they would lose two weeks of sales and customers, who may be tempted to buy their trees already on sale in supermarkets.

Winston Farm near Ellesmere will reopen after a busy Halloween event in October and visitors will not only be able to choose a tree but also see the resident reindeer.

Steve Jones who runs the business from the family farm said he was busy getting everything prepared.

The farm's pumpkin fest was so successful it sold out of pumpkins.

"We are all so excited that we can open on Friday. We have doubled the size of the area we use and have all the social distancing, one-way systems and hand sanitisers in place," he said.

The reindeer are usually a major draw at Ellesmere's late night shopping event when they spent the evening in the town centre, but that is not taking place this year.

At Leaton Forest between Shrewsbury and Baschurch, staff are preparing to open on Saturday.

"We are looking forward to seeing everyone - yes things will be different with government guidelines to follow, but we will be open," a spokesman said.

"We will also have our click and collect service available."

One business taking full advantage of the changes was the Oswestry Christmas Tree farm just off the town's bypass.

It opened today and staff said its Christmas shop would be opening soon.

Across the border in Wales, Christmas tree outlets have been open as normal as the Welsh government ended its two week firebreak lockdown at the beginning of the month.

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