THE iconic Supertrees on the Hoole Way roundabout garden were spectacularly brought to life as part of an event to bring local communities together.

Organised by volunteer group ‘For Eco Super Trees’ (ForEST), the Lanterns Carol Service on the evening of Thursday, December 19 was the first public event held at the roundabout since the Supertrees were installed.

Local singers and musicians performed on the central performance space, decorated with local artist Russell Kirk’s lanterns, as adults and families sang along to Christmas carols.

Police Community Support Officers were also present and even joined in with the festivities on stage. Mince pies and hot drinks were served by the ForEST team in return for donations, which will help fund future Supertrees projects.

ForEST team member Sam Ryley, who runs his own creative firm ‘Canteen’ in Chester, proposed to light up the trees in a visually striking way.

Joining forces with local firm CSP AV, which supplied the architectural uplighting, Sam created a design which captured the imagination of pedestrians and drivers.

Sam explained: “We wanted to show what was possible with some clever lighting. It brought the trees to life!

"There have always been plans to light the trees on a permanent basis, and we’re currently applying for funding, but it was hard to visualise what they’d look like. So we thought we’d just show everyone what could be done.

“The team are so pleased with the impact it’s had, and there’s been a fantastic response on social media.

"People have been telling us how they loved seeing the trees lit up and want it to happen again. The aim has always been to encourage people to question what the trees stand for and represent. We hope by drawing people’s attention to the trees, these questions are asked more often.”

Steve Hughes, ForEST group founder and spokesman, addressed the well-attended Christmas event.

He explained: “This is the first in a series of community events we’re planning on the roundabout.

"The Supertrees have many purposes - to raise awareness of the climate crisis, to increase biodiversity in our city, to transform a neglected area into a much-loved community space, to educate young people about conservation, and to bring communities together.

“Tonight we came together under these beacons of hope - hope for the future of Chester and for the planet.”

A tweet about the Supertrees from Cheshire West and Chester councillor Richard Beacham exulting “Visions of the future” received a lot of positive engagement on the evening.

The £200,000+ initiative is backed by Cheshire West and Chester Council, volunteers, Chris Matheson MP, and Chester Zoo.

If anyone would like to volunteer and help the ForEST team, email For updates and events, follow Chester SuperTrees on Facebook at and Twitter @ChesterSTrees.