The festive season is being celebrated at The Beacon this year with displays of nearly 200 trees, Christmas trees and floral arrangements around the shopping centre.

It marks a move away from artificial displays, plastics and energy-thirsty lighting and a major push towards a sustainable and environmentally-friendly Christmas.

In the New Year, many of the trees will be donated to The Queen’s Green Canopy appeal and will be re-planted around the town.

In another major initiative, The Beacon has used a local tree and flower professional to identify and source the materials for the displays. Ian Lucas of Janet’s Flowers has worked tirelessly to ensure the green-shoots of a sustainable Christmas will welcome shoppers in the run-up to December 25.

The trees on display are mostly locally-sourced and include Eucalyptus, Goldcrest Cyprus, Evergreen Magnolia, Willow and Beech. There will also be Silver Birch poles from a sustainable source to add height and width to several of the displays.

James Roberts, Director of the Beacon, spear-headed the move towards a more eco-aware display. He said: “The eye-catching trees and bushes are using an absolute minimum amount of artificial products, allowing us to spend more on the organic nature of the displays.

“We are becoming more aware of our impact on the environment in which we live, so this move is absolutely the right way forward,” he added.

Ian Lucas said he was delighted to be part of this Christmas project. “I agree 100% with the move towards a more sustainable Christmas display, and I am of course delighted they are keeping transport costs to a minimum by using a local supplier.

“I hope the people of Eastbourne enjoy the displays. I am sure they will be supportive of the need to play our part in looking after the planet for future generations.”

After Christmas, most the trees will be collected and given to local organisers of The Queen’s Green Canopy. Lord Lucas (no relation) said the trees and bushes would be put to good use in and around the town.

“The Beacon’s decision to move towards a more sustainable use of trees in the run-up to Christmas is to be welcomed,” Lord Lucas said. “And it is great that they will then be re-cycled as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. My team and I will make good use of them.”

In line with all shopping centres owned by Legal & General and managed by JLL, The Beacon has been moving towards a smaller environmental footprint for a number of years.

Joe Izett, Assistant Sustainability Manager with JLL, said: “This initiative typifies the advancements The Beacon is making on its sustainability journey – from delivering social value initiatives, to implementing energy reduction measures, waste management improvements and other green initiatives.”