Garden centres join the Christmas trend for reindeer

Reindeer and huskies are becoming a "must have" for garden centres at Christmas.

Real Reindeer owner Angela Flint is visiting around 20 garden centres this year with pairs of reindeer from her herd of 20.

"The trend has been led by garden centres since the late 1980s and small Christmas tree sellers have followed. Having reindeer at the centre at Christmas is a family event and is becoming a must have," she said.

Real Reindeer is to visit Garden & Leisure, Dobbies, Notcutts and smaller garden centres such as California Gardens in East Yorkshire.

Flint recommends a "static" pair of penned reindeer for first-time centres leading on to a sleigh-pull and Christmas-lights event in the second year.

Huskies are also a popular option, with Garden centre Group Bicester hosting eight Karluk Siberian Huskies every weekend this month.

Huskies owner Jane Kingdom said: "We're in our third year and we're getting busier and busier. People email from October asking when we're coming."

She offers the chance to have a photo taken with the huskies and a sled. A mounted photo costs £5 per print.

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