HALLOWEEN may only just have passed, but for one Estepona ecological association – which offers living Christmas trees for rent – work is just starting to hot up.

Rather than selling trees which have been chopped down, and must be disposed of at the end of the season, the pro-environmental group rents out Christmas trees, which can be cared for and then replanted.

The organisation, Naturbellsa, which is based in Extramadura but has a branch in Estepona, is currently preparing its trees for the Christmas market.

The group currently has around 100 Spanish fir trees in Estepona, some of which are already ear-marked for families, who can get the same Christmas tree every year.

Though the scheme is largely driven with conservation in mind, with prices ranging between €15-30, renting a tree over Christmas is also cheaper than buying one.

The Spanish fir – considered the national tree of Andalucia – is under threat from fire, urban encroachment and erosion.

A living tree also brings the advantage of not shedding pines, and can also help teach young people about the environment.