Wylds Farm in Liss is a place where you can pick, cut and buy your own Christmas Tree.
I stumbled across Wylds Farm whilst browsing Instagram’s location feature last year, and after taking a trip to discover whats-what and coming home with a Christmas tree, I had a feeling it would end up becoming a yearly tradition. A point which was proven this year, because when the time came to get a Christmas tree, there was absolutely no question that I was going to Wylds Farm to get it.
I find that Christmas in England has a tendency to completely transform people. Sure, the nights get darker sooner and that bitter chill creeps in, in true winter fashion. But despite the change in temperature and the uptick in rain, everyone remains happy. Whether it’s the thought of upcoming gifts, the ever-indulgent Christmas dinner, or the fairy lights that give a colourful twinkle to the world, everything just feels that much… cosier.
So when the calendar crossed over into December last week, I went straight to Wylds Farm to pick out my prickly friend. The journey was pleasant, bobbing and weaving through winding country roads, passing cottages, dog walkers and cute countryside corners as I went.
I arrived at Wylds Farm around 11 am, which I thought was fairly early but the queue onto the farm had already begun to form. I was a little worried as the grounds were slick with wet mud and I don’t have a 4×4, but the owners of Wylds Farm had organised it well, with material lawn over the mud to provide traction, with vans and 4×4’s parked on the grass, and cars parked further in the grounds.
After arriving on the grounds of Wylds Farm, I hopped out the car and walked over to the main set up.
Wylds Farm has quite the operation going when it comes to selling Christmas trees, and it all runs pretty damn smoothly. A covered section is where the trees are processed, and then there’s an onsite shop, a bonfire, a cosy lounge, a food truck and an area for children.
Then just to the side of that, is where you queue for your ride.
What ride, I hear you wonder…
Two tractors shuttle back and forth with their carriages, eagerly moving masses of hunter-gatherers to the fields, ready to slay the spruce.
After climbing aboard I bid farewell to the buildings, and head out to forage in the fields for this year’s winner.
The fields at Wylds Farm are separated into groups.
First, you have the baby trees
Which you drive past on your scenic tractor ride
Then, when you get to the end of the track you’ll see that it’s separated into type: Nordmann Fir, Nordmann Spruce and Blue Spruce.
Once you hop off the tractor, you’ll be given a stick with a piece of cloth attached to it, (if not they’re kept in a tub near the fire), which is to be waved when you have found *The One.*
I decided to get a Nordmann Spruce, as I got one last year and it held up pretty damn well. So, I wandered through the greens, eyeing them all up as I passed, wondering which would be mine.
I totally wore the wrong shoes (having just come from a family weekend away) but got stuck in… Quite literally, because goddamn it was muddy.
Every time I thought I had found *The One* I let out an “Oooooh”.
And then a sigh as I realised it had already been reserved.
Apparently not everybody is as eager as I am, as most people don’t put their tree up the minute it turns December. Which is why Wylds Farm offers the opportunity to pop down and reserve a tree, to set aside until you’re ready to make the cut.
The markers are quite cute, and vary from family crests, to handmade ornaments, to trees that have tinsel threaded through its branches.
Unfortunately, not all of them are clear to see unless you do a lap around the tree, so there were a few disappointed sighs each time I realised that “my” tree already belonged to another.
Tree hunting is difficult, fir real.
But then, after an impromptu game of hide and seek, I found one.
I waved the stick triumphantly, took a selfie, and then along came a man ready to chop it down.
Once it’s chopped, it’s up to you to carry it back to the tractor stop.
The trees are actually lighter than they look, but I do advise taking gloves because goddamn those things are prickly.
I waded through the mud, and then stopped beside the fire to keep warm whilst waiting for my ride.
When the tractor turns up, Steve takes over and loads the goods into the front.
Once loaded, it was time to drive back to the main hub.
It’s advisable to take a bow, (or some type of marker to tie around the tree) for this part, so that you know which one’s yours when it comes out of the front basket. Because otherwise it can be a little bit like Where’s Wally!
Once your tree’s unloaded, you carry it over to the processing station where it’s measured (prices are based on the height of the tree), wrapped and you’re given a ticket to pay for in the onsite shop.
My tree went through perfectly, but there were some larger trees which provided a great laugh when they needed a little more assistance to get through…
I took the opportunity to have a little mooch through the shop because, at this point, I didn’t actually have a Christmas tree stand to put the tree in. I wasn’t able to find one that I liked, but it worked out fine because I ordered this one.
The shop at Wylds Farm has a great selection of crockery, ornaments and Christmas craft such as handmade wreaths and garlands available to purchase. But I was there to pay for the tree. So once that was done, I picked it up, loaded it into the car whilst swearing about how prickly the bloody thing was, swore a few times that I need to buy a 4×4 because it only just fit in the car, and then set about on the 30-minute prickle-filled drive home.
Once home I went rummaging in the loft, dusted off the ornaments, hung the stockings and decorated the tree—before sitting back with the lights twinkling, and a hot chocolate in hand to celebrate a job well done!
What To Take With You To Wylds Farm:
- Wellies (or boots that are water/stain proof)
- A coat (it’s winter – duh!)
- Gloves (Because whoop-damn Christmas trees are prickly)
- A marker to put on your tree so that you know which one is yours.
- A blanket for your boot, if you’re putting your tree on the inside.
Or cords to strap it to the roof, if you’re not.
How To Find Wylds Farm:
Put Wylds Farm, Warren Road, Liss GU33 7DF into your SatNav.
Once you get close, it’s well signposted and once you’re on the farm, there are plenty of staff to help guide you to the designated parking spaces.