HELMSLEY’S first Christmas Tree Festival raised £1,800 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and attracted more than 2,500 visitors.

The festival, which took place in the town’s All Saints’ Church from December 6 until Christmas, featured 30 individually decorated trees.

More than £4,000 raised in voluntary donations in total and is to be split between the Yorkshire Air Ambulance charity, All Saints’ Church and organisers Helmsley in Business, which aims to raise awareness of the market town by holding future events.

Chris Garnett, chairman of the Helmsley In Business group, said: “We were delighted our first Christmas Tree Festival proved so popular and that we were able to raise important funds to help with the vital work carried out by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. It was also great to see all the businesses and organisations in the town pulling together.

“The feedback we received from visitors made all the hard work worthwhile – thousands of people, aged from two to 92, enjoyed seeing the display which made our already beautiful church even more spectacular.”