This underwhelming festive scene was today dubbed Britain’s worst CHRISTMAS TREE – after locals accused penny-pinching council chiefs of planting a TWIG instead.
The spindly 8ft-fir popped up last week in a town centre ahead of this weekend’s light switch-on event.
Stunned locals in Cotgrave, Notts., said they couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw this year’s meagre effort – and threatened to boycott Friday’s ceremony.
The sorry plant appears to sag under the weight of its decorations – which some described as looking like they were bought from a discount shop chain.
Residents – who have launched a petition to have the tree replaced – said in previous years they were treated to an impressive traditional fir with fuller, healthy branches.
In 2009 residents were treated to a 25ft high tree covered in hundreds of colourful lights.
But this year disgusted locals have blasted the council – branding the town’s Christmas tree ‘The Cotgrave Twig’.
One anonymous resident even donated £250 to the campaign to have the ‘twig’ replaced and the town centre’s Christmas display restored to its former glory.
Locals yesterday pleaded with Cotgrave Town Council to replace the tree or risk ‘ruining’ the town’s Christmas.
Alan Southern, 58, fumed: “I noticed the tree on Saturday night when I went to get my fish and chips.
“I saw the tree and just stopped, I couldn’t believe it.
“We have a tree every year and it is usually a real triumph.
“This is the first time it’s looked like this.
“I wouldn’t even call it a tree.”
Mum-of-three Kelly Cyrek, 34, thought the tree would let down the otherwise well-run festivities.
She said: “The lights switch-on is normally something to look forward to with the older generation getting together to put on stalls and carol singers performing Christmas songs.
“I don’t think it will be quite the magical event it normally is.
“The tree is rubbish compared to what there normally is and a lot smaller.
“It just looks feeble and it would be nice if it could be replaced.”
Harry Burns, 28, accused the council of ‘Scrooge-like’ behaviour.
He said: “The tree looks naff – the decorations look like they’ve come from a pound shop.
“It’s more like a tree you see in a skip after Christmas has finished, not something people can gather around to usher in the festive period.”
Dad-of-three Jonathan Bannister, 34, added: “The tree is absolutely pathetic and makes the town look like a laughing stock.
“My daughter walked past it the other day and asked me if someone had stolen the real tree and put this one in its place.
“Everyone understands money is tight now but even in war time town’s forked out on a decent Christmas tree.”
Manager of Cotgrave Fish Bar, Christina Nicola, said: “The tree is horrible and I am very disappointed.
“There are hardly any branches on it and it just looks like a twig.
“If the council could replace it that would be good because my shop is right opposite it and it’s not very nice around Christmas to be looking out at that all day.”