CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Surrey Life today CLICK HERE

Picking your own Christmas tree at Santa Fir in Shamley Green - Surrey Creations

PUBLISHED: 17:29 22 December 2016 | UPDATED: 18:03 22 December 2016

The Santa Fir team packaging up their Christmas tree presents for the season (detail)

The Santa Fir team packaging up their Christmas tree presents for the season (detail)

Philip Traill

For a festive centrepiece that’s sure to steal the show, you can’t beat a locally-grown Christmas tree – especially as in Shamley Green, near Guildford, you’ll find one of the UK’s largest and most awarded growers, Santa Fir. Here, Julie Alexandersen tells us their story

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine December 2016

***

Having started out in the pretty village of Compton with just 12,000 trees, Santa Fir has taken that number up to 750,000 over the last 20 years – admittedly now spread across a number of sites in the south of England.

“My husband, Hans, became interested in Christmas trees during his time at agricultural college in Shropshire – in fact, he wrote his final dissertation on the subject!” says co-owner Julie Alexandersen. “Having left college, he started to work for the largest Christmas tree grower in England at that time, and that’s where we met.”

After some years, Hans started his own company growing Christmas trees for sellers around the UK. Realising that he was producing some of the finest quality trees for others, he decided to branch out and grow trees for himself. It turned out to be an astute decision, as people started to become more environmentally aware.

“As well as seriously cutting down the road miles etc, locally-grown Christmas trees have other benefits to the environment,” says Julie. “Growing forests are an important part of the fight against global warming. Put simply, trees grow by taking carbon dioxide (the greenhouse gas CO2) out of the atmosphere and releasing clean oxygen. One acre of Christmas trees provides enough daily oxygen for at least 18 people.”

So it’s an ethical decision, but Santa Fir’s trees are also consistently award-winning. Testament to how far they’ve come, they were runners-up in the 2015 competition of the British Christmas Tree Growers’ Association, as well as winner of best wreath, and supplied a tree for 10 Downing Street as part of the prize.

These days, growing trees at Santa Fir is only part of the story, however, and the Shamley Green site is now something of a one-stop shop of Christmas wonder.

“As well as a standing forest of 500 trees for customers to select from, we now have two decoration and gift shops, resident reindeer, weekend fun including a local-produce market, the 140 Field Café, the Firing Earth Pottery Painting Studio, horse and carriage rides, and, of course, Santa,” says Julie.

New for 2016, there will also be two late-night shopping evenings to look forward to this month, on Friday December 9 and Friday December 16 from 6pm to 8pm, where guests will be able to enjoy a glass of mulled wine and a tasty bite to eat from the 140 Field Café whilst choosing their Christmas tree. Sounds like the perfect seasonal soirée to us.


• Santa Fir Christmas Tree Farm, Guildford Road, Shamley Green, near Guildford GU5 0SQ. Tel: 01483 271770. Web: santafir.com

***

The low-down

Surrey Creations is a series by local photographer, Philip Traill, exploring people in their work environment, capturing the characters and what they do in a single image. To contact Philip, send an e-mail to him at: philip@traillphotography.com

More from Surrey Life

Surrey is full of secret hideaways and hidden gems. Slades Farm on the Wintershall Estate is definitely one of them

Read more
Yesterday, 16:05

The new hotel is set to open in spring 2019 and will be located in the heart of the vineyard, offering sweeping views over the North Downs Way.

Read more
Tue, 10:53

From Santa’s Grottos, to Victorian Christmas markets and late-night shopping, we’ve covered what’s on in Surrey this season

Read more
Tue, 10:47

Whether you're looking for fine dining, pub grub or exotic dishes, eating out in Surrey has something for everyone. Here's our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more
Tue, 10:41

Having bloomed in Brighton’s restaurant scene over the past decade, The Chilli Pickle opened its second site in Guildford this summer

Read more
Mon, 14:32

Historic Royal Palaces and IMG have announced that Kylie Minogue is the first headliner confirmed for Hampton Court Palace Festival 2019. These will be her only London shows of summer 2019. Here’s how you can get tickets

Read more
Mon, 12:56

Enjoy this linear rail to ramble section of the Thames Down Link route taking the short train-ride from Box Hill & Westhumble to Ashtead before walking back

Read more
Mon, 12:13

Great things to do in Surrey this weekend (16, 17 and 18 November): art exhibitions, walks, concerts, theatre, places to visit and other events and ideas.

Read more
Friday, November 9, 2018

We round up 10 of the most beautiful photos of Surrey shared on Instagram this week…

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

It’s that time of year when our beautiful countryside is alight with the colours of autumn. Here, we pick out some of her favourite spots to enjoy the seasonal splendour – as well as some perfect places for a post-walk refresher

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Found on the stretch of the River Thames between Weybridge and East Molesey, Sunbury-on-Thames is blessed with a village feel where it meets the water. From antique hunts to the joys of river life, here are a few of our favourite reasons to visit

Read more
Monday, November 5, 2018

Verity & Violet are Loui and Jess – a singing duo from Surrey who specialise in blending vintage classics with modern favourites. The two have achieved success in the capital, but are now hoping to attract an audience closer to home

Read more
Friday, November 2, 2018

With the Christmas celebrations seemingly starting earlier every year, it all feels a little too ‘soon’ sometimes, but what if you want to look your best for Christmas & New year celebrations and are considering having cosmetic non-surgical procedures? The Bella Vou Pantiles Clinic offers surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures and treatments from a purpose-built private clinic in the heart of Royal Tunbridge Wells

Read more
Thursday, November 1, 2018

Living in England’s most densely wooded county, it’s always a pleasure to witness Surrey donning its autumn finery. Here’s some of the best places to do just that - plus a few pub pit stops to enjoy on route!

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search