An animal bedding company is making sure Santa’s reindeers are well-rested ahead of the big night.
Platts Agriculture Ltd, based on Llay Industrial Estate, near Wrexham, has provided super soft bales of bedding to ensure that Rudolph, Blitzen, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen are enjoying sweet dreams between now and Christmas.
The family firm, that’s celebrating its 50th anniversary next year, has sponsored the reindeer enclosure which is a highlight of the enchanting Christmas wonderland attraction at historic Bolesworth Castle, near Tattenhall, in Cheshire.
As part of the agreement, Platts have provided haylage for the deer to snack on and dust-free chopped straw for them to bed down so they’re ready for action when they pull Santa’s sleigh to deliver presents around the world before children wake up on Christmas morning.
Platts Sales and Marketing Director Nadia McKane said they were thrilled to sponsor part of the Bolesworth Christmas celebrations which are expected to attract about 40,000 visitors over 18 days in December.
Nadia explained: “The bedding we have provided them with is double-de-dusted straw which is a really good quality and a new addition to our range.”
It follows Platts partnering with another Welsh company, Gower Granary, of Swansea, the only makers in Wales of double de-dusted and milled bedding straw, an economical and sustainable product ideal for horses and cattle.
Gower has more than 50 years’ experience in farming and agronomy, and harvests more than 300 acres of quality grass crops a year, which processes at a state-of-the-art production facility.
Nadia said: “As part of our ongoing relationship, we are excited to have become an official distributor for Gower Granary, so increasing the range of top quality products Platts can offer customers and meet our ever increasing demand for high standard bedding.”
Nadia said Platts are also delighted to have struck up a warm business relationship with Bolesworth Castle.
She said: “We’re both family firms with our roots firmly set in the countryside and rural life so it absolutely makes sense to get involved in some different projects together. We’re hoping this will be the start of a long friendship between our two organisations.”
The reindeer enclosure is sure to prove a big draw for families as they flock to follow the 1.2 miles walk which makes up this year’s illuminating Bolesworth Christmas Light Trail.
The trail takes about an hour to fully enjoy with dazzling attractions including a rainbow bridge and a forest bathed in colour via stunning light displays, interactive installations, glowing orbs and iridescent fountains.
Bolesworth head of Commercial Development Natalie Collins said: “It truly is magical.
“I almost went back into my childhood when I and some colleagues walked the full trail before we opened to the public at the weekend.
“I was transported into a fairyland, it’s so imaginative and conjures up the sort of warm Christmassy glow that we all need right now, especially coming after the difficult couple of years of the pandemic.”
Tickets are selling well for this year’s festivities at Bolesworth which have been designed to be family friendly, pet friendly and fully accessible. They also include a winter fair and a Christmas market, lakeside champagne bar and Santa’s grotto.
The reindeer enclosure is near the start of the light trail, with a warming coffee station nearby so families can have a hot drink and a breather within just a few feet of the grazing reindeer.
Two children who had a close encounter with Santa’s four-legged friends before the wonderland officially opened were Alice and Dylan Hall, the son and daughter of Platts Agricultural Financial Director Ian Hall.
When Ian visited the site to catch up with Natalie and her Bolesworth Castle team he was able to bring along his wife and children to see the deer at rest.
Alice, 11, and Dylan, 13, got to have their photographs taken behind the scenes with Rudolph, Blitzen and co.
Alice said: “It’s just fantastic. We were really lucky to get so close to them. The public don’t normally get to do that, but we had such a rare chance to have our photos taken with real live reindeer. They are amazing animals, so gentle and inquisitive.”
Reindeer keeper Charles Blake has a herd of about 35 deer at his farm not far from Bolesworth Castle and he was delighted when asked if some of them could spend time at the Christmas wonderland.
His teenage twins, Daisy and Jack, aged 16, help care for the deer which he has raised for about three decades.
Charles runs the Blue Loos events hire company in Cheshire but keeps reindeer as a hobby: “I just have always loved reindeer – they are such charming creatures.”
He said about five reindeer will be in the enclosure each day of the Bolesworth Christmas fair.
He said: “I will be rotating them; different individuals from the herd will go to the fair for a few days, then back to the herd, and another five will go to the fair. People shouldn’t be surprised to see different deer in the enclosure at different times.”
He said the bedding supplied by Platts makes an ideal top coat on the ground of the enclosure, helping keep the deer dry, relaxed and comfortable.
He said: “It’s important to keep them well rested and to preserve their energy levels right now. Everyone knows that, as they are Santa’s favourite helpers, this time of the year is super busy for reindeers everywhere!”
For more details about Bolesworth Christmas and to book tickets visit: www.bolesworth.com