Christmas arrives from the Forest

Follow the journey of  Britain's civic Christmas trees

Every year home-grown civic trees are delivered to towns and cities in celebration of Christmas


In November 2014, 118 spruce trees were felled...
...ready to be airlifted out of Kielder Water and Forest Park, Northumberland.


"We can't get vehicles in there. The easiest way is to get a helicopter"

With a harness fastened each of the trees were then carefully lifted...

...out across the top of the forest to an access road to start the next stage of their journey.


Having been wrapped and marked for their final destination the trees were placed onto a low-loader to be transported by road to towns and cities.

Large Christmas trees that light up towns or cities are usually sustainably sourced by the Forestry Commission, who identify suitable trees for civic displays. The trees vary in size from 20-50ft.

Britain's biggest Christmas trees are then transported across the country to take pride of place in towns and cities from Kings Lynn to Worcester, and Manchester to Kingston-upon-Thames.

For the past thirteen years, the Forestry Commission has provided London's Houses of Parliament with its spectacular Christmas tree from Kielder Water and Forest Park in Northumberland, positioned at the base of Big Ben for all the world to see.

On Saturday 29 November 2014 a Sitka Spruce for the base of Big Ben and a 25ft Norway Spruce for Westminster Hall arrived in Westminster on a low-loader having travelled 350 miles from Northumberland.


On arrival in Westminster the trunk of the tree for the base of Big Ben was prepared for its stand.

Meanwhile inside Westminster Hall, the 25ft Norway Spruce was moved into place and erected at the foot of the stairs.
Final preparations were made outside as the 38ft Sitka Spruce was decorated with a huge star and lights...

...before it was finally lifted by a crane into its final resting place for everyone to enjoy.

There are Forestry Commission Christmas tree sales centre right across England every year offering a variety of trees that are grown in the UK, including trees that are FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified.

To find a full list of sales centres in England, purchase a Christmas tree online or check out our top tips on keeping your tree fresh and healthy over the festive holidays visit There are also details of the many Christmas activities and events that take place in forests across England.

Don't forget to go and visit our famous tree at the base of Big Ben This Christmas!