Garden centres will be forced to buy mistletoe from Europe in 2006 because a housing developer has stopped a famous auction.
Tenbury Wells in Worcestershire, known as “Mistletoe Town”, has been the host of a mistletoe auction for 150 years.
But in 2004, the site was sold to William Chase, a developer who plans to stop the auction next year.
Webbs of Wychbold retail plant buyer Paul Valentine said he believes garden centres will be forced to source mistletoe from abroad if the market closes.
“Yet again, we are being forced to source stock from Europe. France is the most likely place.”
Manager Peter Baxter of Burford House & Garden Centre in Tenbury Wells confirmed that the auction will be stopped next year. He added: “It has been a great source of mistletoe and we will be forced to look elsewhere now.”
A group of local people have joined forces to form the Tenbury English Mistletoe Enterprise (TEME). Its purpose is to support the local industry and to ensure a future for the mistletoe auction.
TEME chairman Reg Farmer said: “We are here to support local growers, give a boost to the economy and tourism, and encourage more visitors into the area.”
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