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Tree scheme aims to spruce up Barnard Castle over festive season
TRADERS in Barnard Castle are being asked to spruce up the town during the festive season – by putting up Christmas trees outside their shops and offices.
Officials of the Barney Guild – the Barnard Castle traders' association – say they would like to see the biggest display of Christmas trees in the main shopping areas of Galgate, Horse Market and Market Place the town has ever seen.
Working with Teesdale Conservation Volunteers (TCV), the guild has come up with a scheme to charge £30 per tree, which includes delivery, putting it up and taking it down and its disposal in the new year.
For businesses that have not taken part in the scheme before, tree brackets can also be ordered.
Trees will either be fixed high up the shop front at a 45 degree angle to the wall or at eye level, vertically against the wall.
The guild's Annalisa Ward said: “We would like to see at least 60 trees up and down the high street.
“We will be working with TCV, who will source the trees from the Raby Estate, prepare them, put them up and remove them for composting in the new year.”
The scheme is not new, but interest has waned during recent years.
To help with the Christmas tree campaign, Barnard Castle Town Council member Roger Peat has visited shops and offices to encourage people to get involved.
“It is a really well worked scheme and I would like to encourage more shops to go with it. We really need to push things as much as we can,” he told the October town council meeting.
Asked if the scheme had declined due to the increasing cost of trees, he replied: “It is more a bit of apathy – the same with anything that goes on for a while.
“It is very much the new shops that had a lot of enthusiasm,” he added.
It is hoped to have the trees up in time for Barnard Castle's lights switch-on and Christmas Festival on Saturday, December 1.
Businesses taking part in the scheme will be offered some free promotion on the local community station Radio Teesdale.
“Throughout the week running up to the Christmas Festival weekend, Radio Teesdale will give a shout out and name check to all those businesses who are displaying a tree,” added Annalisa.
“Each will be mentioned several times during live programmes and there will be pre-recorded announcements during other broadcasts.”