Great Britain

Stribers Farm, Haverthwaite, is open for business this Christmas

GOING to pick your Christmas tree is one of the many highlights of the festive season and this year locals can still enjoy the special tradition.

Stribers Farm, Haverthwaite, has been open for business since last week, giving customers the chance to pick their perfect Christmas tree and support a family business that has been going for over 50 years.

“We get a lot of families coming to pick their tree and the kids love it,” said Becky Barker, from Stribers.

“We’ve been open for 50 years since my grandad was selling trees on the stall in Ulverston and there’s people from way back then who are still coming for trees.”

The three generation operation was first established by 86-year-old Harry Barker, who is still actively involved in the business today.

The Westmorland Gazette: EXPERT: Harry Barker has been selling Christmas trees for over 50 yearsEXPERT: Harry Barker has been selling Christmas trees for over 50 years

Since then the business has grown, now supplying hotels, towns, and customers from far and wide with five varieties totalling between 1,500 and 2,000 trees a year.

This year the business has had to adapt to Covid-19 guidelines, but is still hoping for a bumper year, despite many hotel orders under doubt.

“It’s been a bit more difficult with Covid, we didn’t know how it was going to work, if we were able to open at all,” said Ms Barker.

“We have to keep in touch with the British Growers Association to make sure it’s all legal.”

Customers will still be able to come to the yard to pick their tree and hand sanitisers, social distancing signs and a one-way system will be in operation.

The Westmorland Gazette: READY: Cut trees ready to be taken homeREADY: Cut trees ready to be taken home

Additionally, a click and collect service will be available and trees can be delivered to those who are self-isolating or vulnerable.

“We’re ticking away nicely but the biggest thing is hotels, they don’t know if they can open for Christmas,” said Ms Barker.

“We supply a lot and it’s a big part of the business, but the village centres, such as Cartmel, are still doing the normal tree.”

Ms Barker gave some advice on picking and ensuring the longevity of your tree.

“Quite a lot of people come and pick a tree and then they have to cut a bit off the top or bottom, because it doesn’t fit in their house,” she said.

“Trees look smaller outside than in so measure where it’s going.

“And to keep them alive we can cut a slither off the bottom of the tree to freshen it up and water them.

“Try not to put them near radiators or fireplaces because it soon dries them out.”

To find out more or to place an order visit Stribers Farm Xmas Trees on Facebook.

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