Camels are the new reindeer at Trelawney stores

Christmas innovation to drive customer numbers is better than ever this year with camels, huskies, helicopters and reindeer bringing Santa to centres, while skating rinks are in this year to add to the traditional seasonal grotto.

The Trelawney stores in Wadebridge, Cornwall, and Ashford, Devon, and Raglan Garden Centre in Monmouthshire have twilight Santa arrival events planned. Winners of a Trelawney Christmas badge competition win a ride on a camel during the Santa arrival procession on 14 November at Wadebridge and on 21 November in Ashford.

Visitors to Beckworth Emporium in Northamptonshire will be able to skate at an open-air ice rink at the Mears Ashby shopping emporium from the end of November.

More than 80 stores in the Garden Centre Group (formerly Wyevale), including Blooms Garden Centres, Bridgemere Garden World, Heighley Gate Nursery & Garden Centre, Old Barn Garden Centre, Peter Barratt's Garden Centres and Sanders GardenWorld will host Santa arrival events in the next few weeks. Most will be on 14, 21 or 28 November.

Events manager Natalie Moulden said: "Anyone who misses out on the arrival events will be able to see Father Christmas in his grotto at around 70 of our garden centres in England and Wales in the run up to Christmas. He is also hosting a series of breakfast and tea parties at participating garden centres." Entry is £5 and includes a present.

See more in Horticulture Week 20 November.


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