Couple’s first Xmas tree planted in their garden 44 years ago now stands 50ft high being the brightest landmark for miles

A couple’s first Christmas tree which they planted in their garden 44 years ago and now stands 50ft high is the only bright landmark in one of Britain’s darkest villages.

Avril and Christopher Rowlands dug a hole for their £6 fir outside their front window to mark their first Christmas together in their new home in 1978.

More than four decades later, the whopping tree now towers over their four-bedroom detached house.

Over the years, the couple have decorated the tree with 3,000 festive lights, which they switch on every December.

The lit tree now stands as the only illumination in Inkberrow, Worcs., which is one of Britain’s darkest villages on account of there being no street lighting.

Despite rocketing energy costs, the couple refused to cancel this year’s official switch on and around 2,000 people joined them to see it lit up on Saturday (3/12) night.

Retired TV writer Avril, 76, said: "After two years of somewhat scaled back versions due to Covid we're planning to get the tree back to its full glory this year.

"A couple of years back our electricity provider actually gave us £100 off our bill so we're going to request the same this year as you never know unless you ask.

"It just wouldn't be Christmas without it, it has been a tradition for that long now that we

wouldn't even dream of cancelling it.

"During Covid it served as a beacon of light and I still think people need that now.

“The only thing we didn't do was serve coffee from our garage but we got a mobile van that did that for us.

"There was also a vintage children's funfair there and we have hopefully raised lots of money for charity.

“It's a good cause, so we will carry on and not be put off by the energy prices.

"Thousands of people turn out for it, so we didn't want to let anybody down."

The tree is so big a farmer loans the couple his cherry picker to help them decorate it with 3,000 lights.

The couple have raised tens of thousands of pounds for charity from wellwishers who turn up to view the incredible fir which is visible from miles around.