News World Chop-your-own Christmas trees: Dutch park makes festive free offer

Chop-your-own Christmas trees: Dutch park makes festive free offer

A national park in the Netherlands is making an unusual offer to visitors this holiday season: come and chop down your own Christmas tree – for free.

Rangers in Hoge Veluwe Park, near the eastern city of Arnhem, have set aside areas where Scots pines are threatening to overwhelm land used by lizards, crickets and other rare species.

They have invited visitors to bring their own axe, or borrow a handsaw from the site, to help keep the heathland clear.

Hundreds of families have already turned up this month to take their own trees, free of charge.

Staff have been struggling to control the spread of the trees thriving on the sandy, nitrogen-rich soil, said ranger Henk Ruseler.

“In this area we have several lizards, crickets, lichens and most of them are quite rare, they are on the European Red List of threatened species,” he told Reuters.

“So when this area becomes a forest, then all these rare species disappear,” he added.

The problem was partly caused, he said by rising levels of nitrogen in the environment from transport fumes and the over-fertilisation of farmland. Last month the government cut speed limits to try and reduce nitrogen levels.

The Hoge Veluwe, with its current expanses of 3,200 hectares of woodland and 2,100 hectares of heathland, is also know for its museum and gallery, with an impressive collection of Van Goghs and Modernist art.

The tree scheme runs for the next two weekends, with a limit of one tree per visitor.


Top Stories

Racism, suicidal thoughts, tears: What we learned from Meghan and Harry’s interview

What did we learn from the interview between Queen Elizabeth's grandson Prince Harry and Meghan - the Duke and Duchess of Sussex - and U.S. chat...

Police issue 201 fines in 24 hours for breach of covid measures

Police fined 199 citizens and two premises all across Cyprus over the past 24 hours for breach of measures aiming to curb the spread...

Transitioning back into a post-lockdown workplace

Transitioning back into a post-lockdown workplace: what to expect and how to adapt was the theme of a virtual discussion organised by Phonix Leaders...

UN special envoy begins preparatory work in Nicosia on Geneva talks on Cyprus

With April’s UN-brokered informal summit on the Cyprus problem just around the corner, the UN special envoy on the divided island on Monday begins...

Paphos police looking for reckless driver, possibly under the influence

Paphos police are looking for a driver who on Sunday evening first entered the opposite side of the road and then crashed on an...


Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...


No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...