ABOUT OUR BARN
The Sussex Christmas Barn can be found at Gipps Farm, which is at the heart of the 2,500 acre Sutton Hall Farm estate between the villages of Barcombe, Newick, Isfield and Chailey. The barn has views extending to the South Downs National Park, to the Ashdown Forest Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and across the Ouse Valley.
The barn has fulfilled many roles over the centuries. For about 250 years it gave shelter to cattle, sheep, pigs and chickens and it safely stored hay, straw and grains. During World War II it was home to Canadian soldiers, initially as they stood ready to defend London against an invading German army, and later as they prepared to cross the Channel to defend our shores. Evidence of its importance in the second World War can still be seen today – outside the barn is a semi-circle of concrete bollards which were to be arranged across the road to stop an invading German army!
The barn has sat empty and redundant for many years as it became superfluous to modern agricultural needs. We are very happy that the barn has been brought back to life and has a new role – to give you and your family an enchanting place in which to begin your Christmas celebrations.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Every generation brings something new to the farm and in 2017 we started a Christmas tree enterprise. We planted 22,500 trees and plan to plant lots more trees over the next five years. Our aim is to produce the highest quality Christmas tree and to sell the very freshest of trees with the lowest of “tree miles”.
As a small family business, we tend to our Christmas trees by hand throughout the year - planting the little trees, pruning and tending them to create the perfect shape.
Caring for our environment
We look after the environment carefully. We have signed up to the Entry Level And Higher Level Environmental Stewardship Schemes. We have acres of uncropped grass margins and headlands around the farm creating wildlife corridors for insects, birds, reptiles and mammals of all sorts. We have fields left for wading birds and now have an annual visitation from a flock of Lapwings who nest and breed on the farm. The farm is home to three types of deer along with foxes, badgers, bats, owls (barn, tawny and little) and many varieties of dragon flies, butterflies, frogs, toads, newts and grass-snakes - to name a few of our residents.
Our Christmas tree fields are very beneficial to all sorts of wildlife. We use the minimum amount of nutrients and pesticides on our trees which allows more plants and wildflowers to grow around the trees which benefits bees, insects, birds, owls and small mammals.
One fascinating fact about Christmas trees is the huge amounts of CO2 that they absorb. A Christmas tree is green all year round which means they absorb C02 all year round. A hectare of Christmas trees will absorb 6 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year!