A Christmas tree from Langford Lakes Christmas Tree Farm at Middle Hill Farm, Langford Budville could be standing outside Number 10 Downing Street this December.
Owner Reg Hendy is entering this year’s industry contest in South Wales in a bid to win the pitch. Reg explained: “The competition is run by the British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA) and is held annually to select the best spruce, fir and pine trees and then an overall winner. The winners are chosen by BCTGA’s members during the event which this year is on 26 October at Poundffald farm near Swansea.
“The contest is held around the same time each year at a different member’s site as part of the organisation’s quarterly open day. There’s also a competition for the best wreath.
“The individual overall winners of the best tree and wreath are then invited to supply them to 10 Downing Street. We haven’t participated for a few years but we’re entering again this year in the best tree/fir category and are feeling fairly confident as it’s been a very good growing year. We’ve some excellent specimens we can select from to enter.”
Reg added: “Members will be looking for a well-proportioned tree roughly half as wide as its height, with full foliage at the top and an all over rich, green colour.
Langford Lakes Christmas Tree Farm, well-known for its home grown, freshly cut Christmas trees, is a family run 40-acre farm owned and run by Reg and his wife Ann and their two sons, Shaun and Nick.
Visitors this winter may be able to observe a pair of barn owls via specially-placed cameras as they make a home in a nesting box and produce chicks.
Reg said, “We’ve a pair of barn owls preparing to nest at the farm in a special box we’ve put up. It’s not uncommon for barn owls to have chicks during December and we’re hoping to put a camera inside the box to monitor activity.
“We already have one outside and have observed the mum going in and out so hopefully we’ll have a nesting pair in our nest box for Christmas. All action we’re undertaking is agreed in accordance with the Barn Owl Trust.
“We’re very conscious of protecting the environment here. Our Christmas tree plantations are a haven for wildlife including birds of prey, butterflies and all sorts of mice. We currently also have homes around the site for dormice and we’re extremely eco-friendly.
Langford Lakes recently invited bird of prey expert, Martin Ballam from Xtreme Falconry to inspect the habit available to the barn owls and to give his advice. He brought a captive barn owl called Honey May with him.
Reg added: “We have a recording of a pair preparing to nest. The nest is already prepared with pellets brought by the female to act as a base inside the box. When the falconer brought along the barn owl he checked the site and, in particular, the land set aside, and confirmed we had perfect conditions for a pair to set up home here, so we’re really hopeful.
“He also told us that the pellets contained large, aged voles, again perfect food for potential feathered parents-to-be! It’d be lovely if we had some Christmas chicks and visitors could watch them via our camera and monitor in our shop. A great end to the year.”
Langford Lakes Christmas Tree Farm is open from Friday, November 18 until Friday, December 23, 2016.
For further details about Langford Lakes Christmas Tree Farm, which is based at Middle Hill Farm in Langford Budville near Wellington, please call 01823 400476, visit http://www.langfordlakes.co.uk, follow the company on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/LangfordLakes or log on to http://www.facebook.com/LangfordLakesChristmasTreeFarm/.