The popular Methley Christmas Tree Farm, near Leeds, is enjoying a bumper year.
The farm and the glittering pop-up festive shop, which was launched last year, opened its doors in November – with the strictest of anti-Covid measures in place.
The Christmas Tree Farm and shop is carefully managed by Jamie Savile, whose family have owned the Methley Estate since the 15th century.
Jamie said: “We are really pleased to report a tremendous year, with 3,000 trees already sold, which is a big increase from last year. Every single anti-Covid measure is being implemented across the whole Home Farm site, with facemasks mandatory, sanitisers everywhere and social distancing clearly marked and monitored. Our popular cut-your-own field is open as usual and a click-and-collect scheme is in operation.
“We couldn’t have cancelled Christmas. Choosing a tree from Methley is a special tradition for many local families at Christmas time – and we didn’t want to disappoint. Our farm manager planted the first tree in 1996 and now the farm has 25,000 trees being grown at any one time, so there are plenty to choose from.”
This year, Jamie believes, Christmas is more important than ever as families across the country try to forget about the global pandemic which has blighted 2020 so badly.
“This has been a stressful and unsettling year for everyone and I think many people are making Christmas as happy, joyous and colourful as they possibly can. We are here to help them do exactly that.
“We have been delivering our trees free of charge to local schools, churches and hospices, doing our best to raise spirits is these testing times.
“We also conduct school visits by arrangement to learn more about growing Christmas Trees and their environment.”
Situated near Leeds, on the confluence of the Rivers Aire and Calder, Methley Estate is part of Mexborough Estates owned by the Savile family.
The estate was once home to Methley Hall, which was built in 1588. Having been requisitioned by the army during both the First and Second World Wars, the hall also became subject to significant mining subsidence and extensive dry rot and was sadly demolished in the late 1950s.
Mexborough Estates grows Christmas trees in Hawnby, near Helmsley North Yorkshire, as well as at Methley. The Hawnby trees are sold at Methley.
Jamie Savile added: “In the past, people have said that they love coming to see us at Christmas because it is an authentic experience for the whole family, as opposed to buying an anonymous tree in a supermarket.
“We believe our Christmas shop, housed in an historic old barn, adds to this authenticity and makes buying a Christmas tree here an enjoyable and memorable experience for all the family. This year, that is more important than ever.”