Hindhead Commons in the snow

To many, Christmas means family traditions; wrapping up warm and heading out on a winter walk, decorating an enormous tree, and treating yourself to some festive food. This December, visitors to Hindhead Commons and the Devil’s Punch Bowl can indulge in all three. 

For the fifth year running, the National Trust at Hindhead Commons and the Devil’s Punch Bowl are inviting visitors to come and cut down their own Christmas tree. As part of a wider conservation project, Scots pine trees are regularly removed from the protected heathland because they are very fast growing and take light and nutrients from other slower-growing plants.

The Scots pine, the UK’s only native pine, makes for a fantastic traditional Christmas tree. Lead Ranger for Hindhead Commons and the Devil’s Punch Bowl, Matt Cusack, explains “This is a great event for the whole family. The heathland is beautiful at this time of year and it’s a perfect way to get out and enjoy it. By removing Scots pines, we can ensure that there is enough light for other heathland plants to thrive. The Scots pine is particularly fast growing so there are plenty to choose from”.

This year’s Christmas tree harvesting events are taking place on Saturday 7, Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 December, 10- 2pm. Trees cost from £20 each, cash only please. There is no need to book, just bring along a saw and a pair of gloves.Car parking is at GU26 6AB and is free to National Trust members, charges apply for non-members. Head over to the visitor den to find out about membership – a great Christmas gift idea.

The National Trust is also providing Christmas Trees for the five stations associated with the Surrey Hills to South Downs Community Rail Partnership. Namely, Haslemere, Witley, Milford, Witley, Godalming and Farncombe.