FLYING out to Afghanistan for a tour of duty is never easy for any soldier, but especially difficult at this time of year.

Now a garden centre has tried to create a little seasonal magic by donating a Christmas tree to Brize Norton air base.

Boyd Douglas-Davies, owner of Hilltop Garden Centre, in Ramsden, presented the tree, which will brighten up the journey for thousands of troops this Christmas.

Wing Commander Angela Baker said: “This is fantastic, it improves the environment in the terminal for all the passengers travelling overseas at Christmas.”

The tree is a Nordman fir, which has travelled 530 miles from Inverness, in Scotland.

Mr Douglas-Davies said: “We just thought if they had a tree at the base it would be a nice thing for everyone.”