A popular Swindon farm is offering customers the opportunity to rent a Christmas tree.

The Lotmead Farm Pick Your Own site has offered customers the option to buy Christmas trees for years and is now doing something different as well.

The scheme -  more environmentally friendly than the conventional method of buying and disposing of a Christmas tree each year - begins on November 25.

Rental Claus is an initiative Lotmead owner Paul Keene has successfully run from the Pick Your Own’s sister site, Primrose Vale, in Gloucestershire, for more than 12 years. It provides approximately 3,000 rental trees to homes and businesses across the country each year.

Members of the public will have the opportunity to buy a pot-grown tree which they can take home and decorate and then return to the site after Christmas.

The tree can only be kept inside for a maximum of three weeks before it must then be kept outside.

Paul said: “Renting your Christmas tree is a great option for people who want a fresh tree with all the shapes and smells that evoke a traditional Christmas, but without the need to chop down and kill a tree.”

Customers can rent a tree from anywhere between £15 and £57 and will have to pay a £15 deposit for the tree.

If customers fail to bring back the tree then they may be blacklisted and banned from renting a tree in the future.

Upon returning the Christmas tree, it is then removed from the pot and put back into the ground to grow for another year.

The deposit will then be returned, or the customer can have the tree kept for the following year without receiving their deposit back. They can then have the same tree back and will be able to see it grow over a span of around five years.

Paul explained that the initiative works well in Gloucestershire and that as customers understand the benefits of the initiative there are very few issues with them being returned.

Paul said: “Our customers tend to believe in what we’re doing so do not find there are that many customers that don’t bring them back."

Delivery is also available for rental trees within a five-mile radius of Lotmead.