VIDEO: Christmas is a long affair for the Stenton family.

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Christmas is a long affair for the Stenton family.

Andrew, his wife and his parents all run The Christmas Tree Farm in Billingley which sells more than 15,000 trees a year to families across South Yorkshire.

Billingley Christmas Tree Farm Feature'Andrew Stenten in the many trees growing on his farm in Billingley in South Yorkshire

Billingley Christmas Tree Farm Feature'Andrew Stenten in the many trees growing on his farm in Billingley in South Yorkshire

For them, the festive season begins way back in March when they start planting up to 30,000 trees on more than 10 acres near Barnsley.

Andrew said: “Christmas is a big thing for us, of course.

“It’s such a nice time of year, so it’s a pleasant business to be in, although I won’t say we’re not a little sick of it by the time it’s all over!”

And The Billingley Christmas Tree Farm has some big clients on its books. Just last month they supplied 73 trees to Chatsworth House, one of them – a giant 24-foot-tree – currently holding pride of place in the stately home’s famous Painted Hall.

Andrew, aged 38, said: “By June we’re already getting orders for garden centres.

“By September and October, everything’s in the field marked up and waiting to be cut down in early November, which is when we start sending trees out to various clients.

“Our earliest trees, however, go out to our customers such as Waitrose and Morrisons around August time when they start shooting their Christmas adverts.

“If you see a tree anywhere on TV over the festive period, chances are it’s one of ours.”

Not bad for a family who slipped into the trade unexpectedly after the devastation of the foot and mouth crisis, in 2001.

Andrew said: “We were pedigree cattle breeders before that.

“Suddenly we needed to find another source of income.

“ Christmas was our quiet time so we started selling a few trees.

“Twelve years on and it’s taken on a life of its own.

“No matter what the economy is doing, people always celebrate Christmas, so our figures are stable.”

Andrew recommends picking out your Christmas tree in the first week of December and says the farm is happy to store the tree until customers are ready for it and will even deliver.

“Of course we do make sure we get the best one of the crop first of all,” he said.

“If a Christmas tree farmer can’t make sure his house has the very best tree in it, he’s doing something wrong!”

Visit thechristmastreefarm.co.uk