Ludlow Town Council is consulting on upgrading the Christmas decorations in the town centre. One option, which hasn’t found widespread favour, is to replace the forest grown tree with an artificial tree. An artificial tree is the wrong image for our town.

But why have a tree at all? A better idea would be to turn Castle Gardens into a Garden of Light for the festive season.

A Garden of Light might take different forms. Lights could be strung between the pollarded lime trees. Temporary light installations could adorn the gardens. These might include pop up works of art by local artists, school and community groups. Perhaps with light as a theme in the first year and different themes thereafter.

A Christmas tree is a fixture decorated by the town council. It is pretty much the same year on year. A Garden of Light could change every year to reflect our community. It is the winter equivalent of Ludlow in Bloom.

The Christmas also crowds the east end of the market (Post Office Square). It is not easy to enjoy the tree when its is surrounded by market stalls. Without a tree, this space could be used for the market or for entertainment during the Christmas season.

Castle Gardens is designated a Scheduled Monument of National Importance due to its proximity to the ancient castle walls. It has an avenue of pollarded lime trees, a sculpture by local blind artist Seren Thomas, several memorial benches, a water fountain donated to the town by former Mayor G Woodhouse and, most prominently, a Russian cannon from the Crimean War.

Castle Gardens is already host to Ludlow Rotary Club’s Tree of Light every Christmas. This would be a part of any display.

In January, the gardens hosted a moving artwork of blue and yellow angels as a tribute to the children who are dying in the war in Ukraine. A Garden of Light might have a similar central feature, perhaps chosen after a competition every year.

No harm can come to the lime trees, which means that permanent fittings could not be used. But the lights could be strapped to the trunks and the strapping could even become a colourful part of the display.

The town council is looking for sponsorship of the Christmas lights. A Garden of Light could also be sponsored. It will also attract people to the town centre.

There are a lot of possibilities. That is one of the advantages of a Garden of Light. It is flexible concept.

One thought on “Who needs a Christmas tree? Why not a Garden of Light?”
  1. Let’s stay with the real Christmas tree with updated, traditional lights. One would expect to see a real Christmas tree in an amenity space in the middle of town. It’s the centrepiece for the Christmas markets and for residents and tourists to view when walking through the centre.

    Consideration needs to be given to light pollution when thinking about extending lighting systems, which will also affect local residents living nearby. Energy costs in running extended lighting around the Castle gardens would be much higher. Good art installations can’t be done on the cheap and there is possibility of it looking amateurish.

    There is no reason why the Town Council cannot approach local businesses and residents for funding support to replace the Christmas tree lights.

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