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Tree growers in bid for festive Downing Street glory

Christmas tree growers from across the ITV Meridian region are bidding for the chance to present the tree which will take pride of place at the official residence of the Prime Minister.

The winning tree in 2012 Credit: Press Association

Over 100 growers will take part in a national competition organised by the British Christmas Tree Growers' Association in Oxfordshire today.

The event will see the hopeful contenders - who span in age from 18 to 80 - coming together to showcase their trees to expert growers, and be judged by fellow members.

Each farmer, who will have spent around 10 years nurturing the tree to full 'competition' height, is able to enter categories including Best Nordman, Best Other Fir, Best Pine, Best Norway Spruce, Best Other Spruce, Best Container Grown, and Best Festive Wreath.

Finalists can submit only one tree into each category, and trees entered must be commercially cultivated and be 1.8 metres high from base to tip. Each will be judged for foliage, colour, shape and marketability.

Following the verdict from the prestigious competition day, the winning grower will supply Downing Street's 20 ft Christmas tree, while the winner of the wreath category will create a wreath to hang at the front door of Number 10.

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Appeal to help find missing woman from Dorchester

Joan Davis was last seen at her home last night Credit: Dorset Police

Police are becoming increasingly concerned for the welfare of a missing woman from Dorchester.

Joan Davis, aged 66, was last seen at her home address along St. Helens Road last night but was reported missing today, Wednesday 21 October 2014.

Joan is described as white, with short grey hair and of medium build and normally wears glasses. She may be wearing denim jeans.

“Concern is increasing for Joan as we believe that she has been upset recently. A thorough search is being carried out in the local area with assistance of the National Police Air Service helicopter. She doesn’t have a car so may be travelling on foot or public transport. We are now becoming very worried for her safety and I urge her to get in touch as soon as possible – we simply need to know that she is safe and well."

– Incident Inspector Roger Robinson
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