A VILLAGE is having to raise thousands of pounds to continue its Christmas lights tradition after it was ordered to replace its annual display because it was ‘killing’ trees.

Ormiston Community Council has launched a Crowdfunding page to cover the extra costs of having the lights strung around the trees in a display which has delighted visitors for years.

Problems arose last year when East Lothian Council cut down one of the trees without warning and brought some of the lights crashing to the ground.

At the time, the council said it was unaware the lights were left in the trees all year round.

Investigations revealed the method used to fix the lights to the trees was damaging them and Ormiston Community Council, which owns the lights, was told to take them down and put them up using a different method.

The move has left the community council with a bill of nearly £3,000 after it took on the additional work to make sure the trees were ready for the Christmas lights switch on, scheduled for Monday.

They have launched a Crowdfunding page to help cover the costs and were delighted to receive a donation from local charity A Gift from Kieran for £1,500 towards the bill.

The community council has also set up a collection bucket in the local Co-operative and appealed to local businesses and residents to support the fundraising.

East Lothian Council said the lights had been fixed to the trees using a wire method that “in due course would actually kill the trees”.

It advised the community council to replace the fittings with expandable rubber ties which would allow the trees to grow.

An East Lothian Council spokesperson said: “The council’s tree officer has had a number of meetings with community councils across East Lothian to advise on the suitability of fixings to trees.

“Ormiston Main Street has a number of mature trees which are an asset to the village and the council’s advice will help to conserve them.”