Annalong Sustainable Christmas Tree Is A Big Hit

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New Sustainable Christmas Tree Gets Annalong Residents Into The Seasonal Spirit

Residents in Annalong will soon be ‘rockin’ around’ their first sustainable Christmas tree as part of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council’s Environmental Improvement Scheme writes Laura Barr.

The village is among five locations in the district to benefit from a sustainable Christmas tree this year.

The Council have told Down News that they plan to plant the tree within “the next few days” at the bottom of Majors Hill.

The new tree will be just over four metres in height and Council will dress it with Christmas lights.

A NMDDC spokesperson said: “It is hoped the tree will grow over the coming years to the height and shape the local community desire for their Christmas tree and council will work with the local community to achieve this aim.

“Traditionally, Newry Mourne and Down District Council has placed a ten-metre-high cut Christmas tree at the bottom of Majors Hill which local residents dressed in Christmas lights.

“Council recently completed an Environmental Improvement Scheme in the general area where the cut tree would be placed, and as part of this scheme an agreement was reached to plant a Christmas tree.”

The approach is considered to be a more environmentally sustainable means of helping the Annalong community celebrate Christmas.

NMDDC Deputy Chairperson, Harold McKee (UUP) said he was looking forward to seeing the newly planted Christmas tree.

He said: “Annalong village was one of the areas which gained from an environmental improvement scheme.

“As part of this scheme, the cut Christmas tree was to be paved and the new replacement sustainable tree planted in a newly designed area towards the north side of the space, supplied with an electric underground box.

“As part of the contract the contractors tried to plant a tree in the planned location but discovered there was an underground utility nearby.

“They then proceeded in planting their tree in a raised area with more soil.”

Cllr McKee said when he saw the tree planted, he raised concerns with council officials regarding the condition of the tree and the location.

They agreed to replace the tree by Council’s own tree expert and plant their own chosen one.

The UUP representative met with the council officer and the tree expert to discuss moving the tree closer to the Main Road and is looking forward to seeing the tree in the new position in the coming days.

Council has planted a number of sustainable Christmas trees across the district.

Some have been provided to replace cut trees which have historically been provided in locations, such as the proposal for Annalong and other similar examples to include Burren, Castlewellan, Culloville and Ballyholland.

In addition, Council has issued Expression of Interests to the wider community who wish to have a sustainable tree planted in their community.

Communities who have been successful through this include Kilcoo, Annsborough, Drumaroad, Lurganare, Drumaness and Crossgar.