Cheddleton Celebrates With Its First Community Christmas Tree

A Staffordshire Moorlands village is celebrating Christmas with its first ever community Christmas tree.

With no budget but generous donations and offers of help, the community of Cheddleton have erected and decorated a tree in time for Christmas.

The idea for the tree came from a resident who asked on the local Facebook page Cheddleton Chat if there was any possibility of the village having a community Christmas tree, after seeing the Christmas tree being put up in Leek town centre.

The idea attracted a great deal of support from the community as well as several offerings of decorative donations.

Cheddleton parish councillor Lisa Salt said: “After seeing the positive effect that this idea was having on people we decided that we needed to make it happen.

“With the support of Cheddleton Parish Council we then established a site for the tree and put out a request for help to make the idea become a reality.

“Village residents Sandra and Andy Wardle amazingly offered us a 15 feet fir tree that they had grown in their garden, which we later came to find out was known affectionately as ‘Charlie’s Tree.

“They had planted several trees over the years which all died and had decided to have one last attempt but this time they buried the ashes of their dog, Charlie, under the root ball of the tree and this tree grew. Knowing this story makes us further appreciate having this as our first community Christmas tree.

“We then had a very generous offer from Charles Piggott from Moorlands Tree and Groundcare to remove and transport the tree to its new position at Cheddleton Community Centre.

“We have also received donations of decorations from residents all over the parish, including a large quantity of beautiful baubles from Churnet Valley Railway, as well as an impressive number of donations from individual residents.

“After four weeks and with no budget, thanks to the generosity of our community we have our very first Cheddleton village Christmas tree. As the saying goes ‘mighty oaks from little acorns grow’ or in this case Christmas trees!

“It has been particularly heartwarming to see that in an unprecedented year of uncertainty and doubt that community spirit is alive and well in our village. We are now hoping to build on the original idea with the formation of an events committee and hopefully not just a Christmas tree but a Christmas fayre for next year.”

Chairman of the parish council, Councillor Mike Bowen, said that they had received many favourable comments about the village tree.

He said: “It is great to see a village Christmas tree. We were lucky to be offered one by a resident. We have also received a lot of donations.

“When we were decorating it we received a lot of favourable comments and children from the school love it. Many youngsters said that they were happy to see a Christmas tree in the village.

“I hope that in a year of sadness it has helped to brighten up the community.”