Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
Huge congratulations to all this year’s competition winners. We’re delighted that York Christmas Trees will be providing the Downing Street tree this year which I hope will be enjoyed by many.
These beautiful trees and wreaths are the first step to bringing us some festive cheer in what has ultimately been a very challenging year for us all.
The annual British Christmas Tree Growers Association competition has been run since 1999 and this is the first time a winner has been crowned from the north of England.
Oliver Combe owner of York Christmas Trees said:
We are a small family run Christmas tree business based on a farm just outside York and to be given the chance to provide the tree for Downing Street is incredibly exciting and a great reward for all the hard work that our team puts in throughout the year.
The Runner Up Christmas Tree Grower of the Year was Jon Baker of Little Down Christmas Tree Farm, East Sussex who will provide Christmas trees for inside Downing Street.
The winner of Champion Festive Wreath is Will and Ella Miles of Welford Christmas Tree Farm, Northampton and they will provide the wreath for the door of 10 Downing Street.
Best Short Film Winner was Sholach Trees Ltd, Perthshire, Scotland and they will provide a Christmas tree for The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
Heather Parry, Managing Agent for BCTGA, said:
Today marks the start of an exciting journey for this year’s Downing Street Christmas Tree, nurtured and grown at York Christmas Trees. It will now head to 10 Downing Street to mark the start of Christmas – a moment which can’t come soon enough for everyone.
It’s been a tumultuous year and we are proud of our members have adapted. We know there will be more people having Christmas at home in smaller groups as well as more people having Christmas at home, rather than going abroad; so we have been preparing for a rise in sales.
Our members have all changed the way they are operating to ensure they can offer Covid-Secure environments. We have a number of growers who have changed the way they do things this year due to Covid19. This ranges from introducing new online ordering, to bringing in tagging earlier which is when consumers visit the plantation, walk through the trees, choose their favourite and put their name on it for collection in December.
The BCTGA, which was formed 30 years ago, is now being managed by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society (YAS).
The British Christmas Tree Growers Association, (BCTGA) has 320 members nationally who sell approximately 8 to 10 million trees a year.