Christmas tree throwing competition launched

What began as a throw-away remark by one of Britain's youngest Christmas Tree Growers, has blossomed into a hotly anticipated pre-festive competition.

Charlie Reynolds (left)
Charlie Reynolds (left)

Charlie Reynolds was 19 when he launched the UK’s first Christmas Tree Throwing Competition, to rival the sporting pursuit already taken seriously in Germany.

Last year he started the contest at his farm in Newcastle Under Lyme  and was inundated with soldiers, athletes, Christmas fanatics and ‘have a go heroes’ eager to see if they could be the ‘champion chucker’.

Now he has announced the return of the competition, with the event set to take place at Keele Christmas Trees on 28-29 November.

It will be open to any contender over the age of 16, and sees every entrant throwing a pre-weighed (approximately 10kg) 6ft Norway Spruce along a specified course. Last year’s debut competition was won by ex-marine Owen Davis, with an 8.4m throw.

Reynolds said: "All year round we’ve had people asking us if we’ll be continuing the competition after last year’s success, so there’s no way we would have said no.

"We had such an amazing response, with over 100 contestants and £1,000 raised for charity, so we’re back this year and hoping the event will be even bigger and better."

He is particularly keen to see sports teams get involved, and is creating a specific team challenge for any football squad, rugby team or athletics group who want to battle against others for a best ‘group’ trophy.

Reynolds added: "I’m really conscious that this is a fun event and we want people to treat it that way, but at the same time we’ll be using the entry money to help support a local cause which means a great deal to our community around Keele – The Donna Louise Trust.

"At the same time we’ll be also fundraising for Help For Heroes, as many of my staff at the farm have come from military backgrounds and are naturally keen that we continue to support that charity."

The member of the British Christmas Tree Growers’ Association took over the farm business four years ago. He has a 1.6ha site, sells around 7,000 trees a year, and employs 10 staff at Christmas.

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