Ullapool unveils beautiful Creel Christmas tree for the holiday season


Living in the big towns and villages of Scotland can often mean that you take the simple things like Christmas lights and decorations around your area for granted.

However, for some small rural communities, they often have to take matters into their own hands and create their own festive exhibits.

One of these projects, in the northwest of the country, may well be one of the most astonishing examples.

Every year since 2016, volunteers from the town of Ullapool have come together to create a magical Christmas tree, not only inventive, but also linked to the fishing heritage of the region.

Ullapool’s Fire and Light volunteer group have come together again to create the distinctive 16-foot-tall recycled Christmas tree that is made using approximately 400 fishing traps, typically used to catch fish. shrimp and crabs.

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Inspired by the history of Mousehole, a small Cornish village that attracts thousands of visitors each year for its own winter illuminations, Robert Hicks and the other Fire and Light volunteers have capitalized on the success of other events such as the Festival of local Loopallu music to help push to run the Creel tree and festive lights.

Speaking about the tree in 2016, Robert said: “Ullapool has never had festive lights before and when we approached the council the steadily shrinking budget meant there was no money for it. .

“Greatly helped by a lottery grant we got in 2015, we managed to get it off the ground and since then the arms and legs have grown.

“Specifically the creel tree, one of the band members came up with the idea and last year it went viral and we were inundated with people asking for advice on how to do theirs for them. community.”

Every year since then the lights around the village have become more varied, with even the local ferry, the MV Loch Seaforth, getting involved in its own display.



Volunteers Simon Eltingham (bottom) and Gordon Wink (top) climb the 16-foot Christmas tree they built on the Ullapool harbor side

The idea for the lobster tree, which has proven extremely popular on social media sites Twitter and Facebook, originated from cities in the United States where lobster traps are used, but Robert explained that the Ullapool tree has a set design that uses smaller shrimp traps, which are better to build with.

It even has a little glowing crab in place of the star.

This year’s light-up took place on November 25, and locals gathered to watch the incredible live display – marking the start of the holiday season – with the local resident and tree sponsor. to Joseph Hilton and his daughter Marina for doing the honors this year.

The lights will stay on throughout December and into the New Year, with donation boxes available near the tree and in village shops to give visitors and locals the chance to support this beautiful project. .

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About Marco C. Nichols

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