Gentle giants help out at Christmas

©  Tony Bartholomew ' 07802 400651/mail@bartpics.co.uk'20th november 2011''PICTURE PROVIDED ON BEHALF OF FORESTRY COMMISSION FOR SINGLE EDITORIAL USE TO ACCOMPANY PRESS RELEASE FROM RICHARD DARN NOVEMBER 2011''Rosie Irving with Dylan her Newfoundland Dog who is one of the members of the Aqua Nova Water Bears training club who will be on hand to carry Christmas treesat Dalby forest this year in exchange for a charity donation.
© Tony Bartholomew ' 07802 400651/mail@bartpics.co.uk'20th november 2011''PICTURE PROVIDED ON BEHALF OF FORESTRY COMMISSION FOR SINGLE EDITORIAL USE TO ACCOMPANY PRESS RELEASE FROM RICHARD DARN NOVEMBER 2011''Rosie Irving with Dylan her Newfoundland Dog who is one of the members of the Aqua Nova Water Bears training club who will be on hand to carry Christmas treesat Dalby forest this year in exchange for a charity donation.

TWO gentle giants have been recruited to carry Christmas trees to raise money for charity.

Newfoundland dogs Dylan and Alfie will work at Dalby Forest near Pickering, fetching Christmas trees bought by visitors in return for a donation to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

The docile dogs are owned by Rosie Irving, 15, from Scholes, and her aunt Joanne Irving, of Drighlington.

Joanne said: “We’ll be using carts pulled by the dogs and asking for donations for the air ambulance and local mountain rescue services. They love being out and working at Christmas and are very docile.”

Joanne and Rosie are both big fans of the breed, which were once used by Canadian fishermen to pull nets from the sea.

The dogs are good swimmers and are still used as water rescue dogs. One is credited for saving Napoleon who fell overboard while escaping from Elba in 1815.

Christmas trees are sold in Dalby Forest from now until December 22. The dogs will be hard at work on December 10, 11, 17 and 18, along with a green Father Christmas, the traditional English Santa.

The Forestry Commission says it is kinder to the environment to have a real tree at Christmas than an artificial one.

Katie Thorn, Forestry Commission recreation manager, said: “Real trees use 10 times fewer materials to produce and five times less energy than artificial trees so it’s a good way of being kind to the planet.”