Christmas tree enjoys new home with picket fence after 2016 'cage' outrage

27 November 2017, 12:46 | Updated: 27 November 2017, 13:49

Shawlands 2016 tree 'cage'

A Christmas tree which acquired fame and its own Twitter account after it was "caged" last year has started tweeting again from its new home.

This year the tree in the Shawlands area of Glasgow has been "freed" and moved from a traffic island to a spot outside The Granary pub.

It now has a white picket fence instead of the metal barriers that drew criticism in 2016.

Locals felt the fencing marred the festive spirit last year, with some saying the tree looked "caged" and others branding it "hideous".

The tree appears to like its new home, though not the weather, tweeting on Sunday: "Good morning Shawlands. Nice to see you again", and later: "My fence may have changed this year, but it seems the weather hasn't. Brrr..."

The lights on the tree are due to be switched on this Thursday, with other festive events planned that day.

Last year local people tried to improve the appearance of the tree by festooning the metal fencing with tinsel and decorations, and held carol singing events beside it.

The tree drew hundreds of followers after starting its own Twitter account @shawlandstree with even First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeting about it, saying: "I appreciate this is a Southside thing - but I'm loving @shawlandstree twitter chat! #FreeTheTree."

This year the tree was moved to its location outside The Granary in Kilmarnock Road after Glasgow City Council consulted local residents and Shawlands and Strathbungo Community Council.

Gary Cushway, former chairman and now associate member of the Community Council, said: "The council contacted the Community Council in September to ask what the community wanted.

"They have listened to last year and realised they needed to do something different.

"This year they have a nice little white picket fence round it. The tree has been freed."

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: "We're thrilled that the new Christmas tree fence is proving popular and wish everyone a lovely festive season."