Christmas officially ended in High Barnet this morning when the town’s huge festive tree was pulled down.

Shopkeepers and customers had helped raise hundreds of pounds to pay for the giant fir tree and thousands of lights to bring a bit of Christmas cheer to the high street last month.

The collection was largely organised by Bull Theatre owner Susi Earnshaw and Hopscotch Sweets co-owner Michael Kentish, who wanted to bring back the town's tree after an absence of several years.

Local gardener John Eisen volunteered to dismantle the town’s Christmas centrepiece this morning before council workers disposed of the remains.

Organiser Mr Kentish said: “Overall it was very good. It created a good feeling in the high street and I think the shoppers appreciated it.

“Anything that brings a bit of Christmas cheer to the town centre is worthwhile. Hopefully we will be doing it again next year.”

Collection pots were placed in a number of local shops in the run up to Christmas to raise money for the tree and almost 2,000 lights.

Mr Kentish said: “We did very well with the collection and we had quite a bit left over. The next traders' meeting is in February and we will decide what to do with it then – it may be carried over to help pay for another tree next year.”