It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – Bidwells bring the site of UK’s largest Christmas tree business comes to market
Property consultancy Bidwells has brought to market a 584-acre site in Scotland that is home to the UK’s largest Christmas tree business at offers over £7 million.
Located in Strathmartine, Angus the site has almost one million Christmas trees planted and sells over 90,000 a year. It is currently home to three thriving businesses - Tayside Forestry Christmas Trees, Tayside Forestry Firewood and the popular Pine Cone Café and Gift Shop at Auchray Farm - all of which are projected to achieve a combined annual turnover of £2.5m for 2022.
In addition, there are two semi-detached, five-bedroom cottages and workers’ accommodation as well as a comprehensive renewable energy systems comprising two wood-chip boilers (which heat all the buildings at the Auchray site), a combined heat and power (CHP) unit which produces 50kw of electricity, a solar panels and a 15kw wind turbine.
A total of 392 acres of arable land is also included in the sale and a further 192 acres of planted land is currently rented.
Founded by the site owner’s father 60 years ago, the Christmas tree business has grown from a nine-acre site in Glenshee to nearly 600 acres throughout Tayside. In that time output has increased to almost 90,000 trees per year. Having survived the pandemic and a serious fire in 2019, the business is in good health and Brian Hughes the current owner, says there’s scope for further expansion.
“We currently employ about 40 people with extra staff brought in during the festive season. We built the accommodation because we wanted to retain good people to work here – and we have. As well as selling directly to the public, we also stock large retail businesses, wholesalers and garden centres.
“I helped my father grow, harvest and sell Christmas trees from the age of 10 and you could say they’re in my blood! It’s been a hard decision for me to put the whole business on the market but the time is right. With a focussed person at the helm, there is potential to expand the business further, which is exciting.
“The popularity of real Christmas trees is growing due to people realising how environmentally friendly they are compared to an imported plastic tree. We will soon be harvesting for this festive season and orders are coming in all the time, including from some of the UK’s largest DIY outlets.
“We also have 2,500 firewood customers within a 30-mile radius and we average at least one new customer every day – which is quite incredible but not surprising really given the current popularity of wood-burning stoves as an economical heat source.”