Britain’s biggest Christmas tree festival gets under way

Thousands of people descended on a church this weekend for Britain’s biggest Christmas tree festival featuring more than 1,500 festive firs.

Visitors flocked from across the country and even from abroad to St Mary’s Church, in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, to see the dazzling display of decorated trees.

A record 1,500 trees have gone on show and were provided by 220 different organisations, businesses and individuals.

The largest is over 30ft (9.1m) tall and one tree even came from as far afield as Sochaczew – Melton Mowbray’s twin town in Poland.

Organisers have been working on the four day event since the summer and over 30,000 people are estimated to attend.

Organiser Andrew Nutter said: “This the 16th year and we started off with a hundred trees.

“We’ve never turned down a tree and we have got fairly slick as putting it together now and part of it is the great people who take part.

“It’s a big church so our only headache is fitting it all in, with people sometimes bringing trees at the last minute.”

Reverend Kevin Ashby added: “A lot of people say for them this is when Christmas really begins. They say without this Christmas wouldn’t be the same.”

The event opened on Friday and will run until Tuesday.

By Ben Gelblum and Ed Chatterton

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