Since moving to Dorset, we’ve made it our mission to explore as much of this beautiful county as possible. We stumbled across Arne about 2 years ago now and it’s one of our favourite places to go.
Every year, they host a ‘Pull a Pine for Christmas’ event in order to help clear away the pine trees to enable the rest of the plants and vegetation to grow properly. Last year, over 2000 people cleared 17 football pitches of pine! In return for helping, you get to take away as many Christmas trees as you like! It’s a completely win win situation.
Non-RSPB members had to pay a £10 entry fee with members only paying £5. When you consider that even the smallest real Christmas tree will probably set you back £25 in the shops, this represented incredible value for money and you are helping with conservation at the same time.
When we got there, we couldn’t believe how busy the car park was! We walked for about 10 minutes onto the heath where we were given a quick health and safety talk before being handed our tools of choice. We went for a bow saw which TJ was very keen to use (obviously under very close adult supervision!)
It was then completely up to us how many trees we cut down! It was such a fantastic experience and TJ loved being given the responsibility of Chief Treecutter! If you didn’t find a tree you liked, you could get a token and go to the pre-cut area and pick one from there. It was just brilliant.
It was also a really sociable event with a food tent, a mulled cider stall, a bbq, kids crafts and an RSPB stand where you could join if you wanted to with family memberships starting at just £5 a month. TJ ended up making a rather cool monster tealight holder from clay, berries and sticks.
We ended up with 3 small trees (one for the dining room, one for TJ’s bedroom and one for the front garden!) It was such good fun decorating the trees when we got home – especially knowing the fact that just a few hours earlier, they had been growing in the ground!!
We had a lovely time at Arne and can’t wait to go again next year!