40ft Christmas tree that will sit by Big Ben chosen from Kielder Forest in Northumberland

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The spruce that will become the Christmas tree at the foot of Big Ben this year has been selected from Kielder Forest in Northumberland.

The 40ft Sitka spruce tree was chosen and cut down by Forestry England and has been carefully wrapped and loaded so it will arrive in London unscathed.

The forest has been providing Christmas trees for this iconic location for over 20 years.

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Richard Cooper, beat forester at Forestry England, said: “I fell and plant a lot of trees every year, but this is always the most special. It has got to be perfect.

The tree has been chopped down and will soon be displayed in Westminster. (Photo by Forestry England)The tree has been chopped down and will soon be displayed in Westminster. (Photo by Forestry England)
The tree has been chopped down and will soon be displayed in Westminster. (Photo by Forestry England)

“It is not just about how good it looks in the forest, it is a real skill to bring it down safely and transport it all the way to London without causing any damage.

“So many people from all over the world will see it lit up and I am really proud to see something from our corner of Northumberland take pride of place.”

The tree was planted around 40 years ago and was selected this year from around 150 million in the forest.

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It is one of 180 civic Christmas trees that will be used in the UK this year to come from Kielder Forest.

New seedlings will be planted to replace the felled trees, in order to supply future Christmas trees and locally-sourced timber.

Richard added: “It will be someone else’s job to choose the 2063 tree, but there is something very special about planting a sapling with such a unique future ahead of it.”