Are they environmentally friendly?
A selection of British companies have been producing these very friendly, and yes, eco-friendly reindeer for five years now and they take the environment, and people's jobs, very seriously. The reindeer are all hand made so immediately jobs are created. And they are crafted from wood that has primarily been sourced from local authorities in South Wales.
Many of these authorities are embarking on woodland management projects where trees are thinned out in wooded areas to encourage the full growth potential of neighbouring species. These may have been prevented from maturing because of overcrowding. By removing some of this timber, and selling it for profit, the wooded areas have a more balanced eco structure that is sympathetic to more species than would normally be the case.
What materials are they made from?
The bodies of the reindeer are made from alder, sycamore, and ash is taken from such areas. The legs of the reindeer are a different proposition entirely as they are made from coppiced hazel. When you coppice a tree you cut it back down to ground level, or very nearly, every year or two. Coppicing opens up the tree canopy allowing the wooded area to flood with light and encourage lots of new, strong growth. These are of course ideal for reindeer legs!
A coppiced tree will live for a very long time as they are maintained at a juvenile stage, and therefore do not age. They live almost indefinitely, meaning a ready supply of timber that needs to be cut to produce more new wood. And the longer the tree establishes, the larger the root system, the more coppiced wood it produces. This method, of course, is centuries old but makes just as much sense, if not more, in our modern world.
Coppicing encourages its own woodland creatures which help to maintain diversity. It also encourages some of our favourite woodland birds including pheasants, nuthatches and woodpeckers.
The eyes and noses for our rustic reindeer are from local businesses near South Wales, thus again helping the local economy. Not only do our rustic wooden reindeer make a great display and focal point for your home, garden or shop in a very environmentally friendly way but they are also individuals. There will never be two the same.
These reindeer have proved so popular that they are now out of stock, but GardenSite sells a wide range of other Christmas decorations including illuminated and resin reindeer that comes in two sizes, they are also available from our garden centre at Sutton Coldfield in north Birmingham.