Selwood Christmas tree

It’s been an annual local landmark and a highlight of the festive season for decades – and this year the giant Christmas tree outside Selwood’s Hampshire headquarters is needed more than ever.

The huge tree has lit up the neighbourhood in Chandler’s Ford every year for 67 years, and many locals say they don’t feel the celebrations have truly begun until they see it.

The tree is traditionally put up at the end of November, with its lights turned on during the evening of the last Friday of the month.

Although the pandemic threatens many Christmas traditions this December, Selwood has pulled out all the stops to put a smile on the faces of passers-by after a challenging year.

Richard Bright, Selwood Chairman, said: “The Selwood Christmas tree was first put up way back in 1953, and every year since then it has delighted local people and those who are driving or walking through on the main road through Chandler’s Ford.

“It’s one of the ways that we support the local community, and we felt they needed it more than ever after this hugely challenging year. A lot of Christmas traditions won’t happen in the normal way in 2020, but we were determined to ensure that this one went ahead.

“The tree looks stunning again this year and we hope it brings joy to people around us. We wish everyone a happy and safe Christmas.”

In years gone by, Selwood, which operates pump rental and plant hire branches around the UK, sourced the tree from the Longleat estate as part of a forestry management scheme.

That has now ended, and each year the company sources the largest one it can find from a local supplier.

The tree will remain on site until Twelfth Night, when it will be taken down and recycled on site.