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New Studies Show Incredible Environmental Benefit of Real Christmas Trees in UK

Ground-breaking new research shows that real Christmas trees provide a brilliant habitat for wildlife in the UK.
An average 6ft Christmas tree takes 10 years to grow and attracts a wealth of wildlife during its growing cycle; including 40 different types of birds. Out of these, 13 were endangered red or amber listed species. Red or amber listings categorises their need of help: red being urgent and amber of moderate concern.


Christmas trees are grown specifically to be harvested and for each one that’s cut, another tree is planted, providing a truly sustainable process. Over eight million Christmas trees were sold in 2021.
Consumers who choose a real Christmas tree as part of festive celebrations, ensure growers can keep planting more trees and continue to provide this amazing habitat for local wildlife.
The study was carried out over five months and led by researcher Colin Palmer who surveyed wildlife in 19 plantations from Devon to Yorkshire with assistance from experts at Harper Adams University and Newcastle University.
Colin said: "Previous studies have focused on comparison of carbon footprint between real and plastic trees, but this study not only demonstrated that real trees contribute to healthy, carbon storing soils, but also showed considerable benefits to wildlife when compared to grassland and arable crops.”
This confirms that the continuous re-planting cycle with Christmas trees plays an important role for wildlife in the mosaic of farm crops, hedgerows and woodlands.
The study is believed to be the first in UK Christmas trees and found mammals including bats, mice, red squirrels, deer, foxes and badgers present in grower’s plantations.
Unexpectedly, during the night, numerous ground beetles also rove under the Christmas trees, while 60 different species of colourful moths flew above them.


The study was funded by the British Christmas Tree Growers Association which has 320 retailers, wholesalers and grower members across the UK.
The BCTGA also commissioned a separate survey conducted by Ipsos to find out how many households bought a real Christmas tree and the reasons why in 2021. The survey found that more than 8 million real Christmas trees were sold and the main reason for getting a real Christmas tree was the smell and tradition. Those who had more than one Christmas tree were most likely to buy them from a grower’s farm.
Managing Agent Heather Parry said: “We commissioned both the study and the survey to find how important Christmas trees are to the environment and to the consumer. They show that real Christmas trees positively contribute to the environment as well as providing a wonderful habitat for wildlife, as well as being a popular choice for millions of households in the UK.”
A new animation to promote the benefits of real Christmas trees has also been launched today after BCTGA worked with Leeds-based animators Hungry Sandwich Club to bring the story to life.


There are real trees available to suit all budgets, speak with your seller for advice. A freshly cut tree that is well looked after should last up to four weeks. Go to the BCTGA website to find your local seller: https://www.bctga.co.uk/onlinedirectory
Champion Christmas Tree Grower of the Year 2022 is Bishops Offley Christmas Trees from Staffordshire. They were voted as winners by members in the annual BCTGA Competition and they will provide the Christmas tree for Downing Street.
The winner of "Champion Festive Wreath" is Santa Trees from Cornwall and they will provide the wreath for the door of the Prime Minister’s residence.
Organised by the British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA), the annual competition has been running since 1999.


EDITOR’S NOTES
• The British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA) is the trade association for UK growers of Christmas Trees in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Visit www.bctga.co.uk and see @BCTGA
• The BCTGA was first established in 1980 and now has more than 320 members.
• The BCTGA is managed by Yorkshire Agricultural Society (YAS), a registered charity which supports and promotes the farming industry through health care, education and funding scientific research into rural affairs.
• Ipsos interviewed a representative quota sample of 3,491 adults aged 16+ in the UK. Interviews took place online on 14-16 January, 28-30 January and 12-14 March, 2022. Data has been weighted to the known offline population proportions.
• The ONS Labour Force Survey (Published March, 2021) has been used to provide household numbers to extrapolate the survey finding around number of households and Christmas trees. A midpoint figure of 27,792,000 households has been presented from an estimated range of 27,398,257 – 28,185,743 households, taking into account the margins of error around the survey findings.


MEDIA CONTACT
Jo Francisco PR Manager
Mobile: 07954 007414 Email: jof@yas.co.uk