Mistletoe is a regular, and popular, feature of written, broadcast and online media every winter season. Common themes include the state of the this year's crop, concerns over long-term supplies (especially with the continuing loss of apple orchard mistletoe habitat), the Tenbury Wells mistletoe auctions and, of course, the origin of that kissing custom. The detail, and the accuracy, of the stories reported varies considerably!
Apart from the usual questions about each season’s crop, and the ongoing impact of orchard loss, the most frequent question each season is often 'what's the story on mistletoe this year?' The answer does vary from year to year though there are common themes, mostly relating to conservation issues and sustainability of harvesting. Conservation agencies (the National Trust, the Wildlife Trust, Butterfly Conservation etc) often release media stories relating to their initiatives or their take on mistletoe conservation.
Mistletoe Matters (mainly Jonathan Briggs) has been fielding mistletoe enquiries from the press, tv and radio for over 20 years, beginning with the attention paid to National Mistletoe Survey Jonathan ran for Plantlife and the BSBI back in the 1990s. Media attention since then has tended to focus on his work with mistletoe conservation, management, his role in the establishment and early years of the Tenbury Wells Mistletoe Festival (including getting the druidic Mistletoe Foundation involved) and his part in establishing online mistletoe sales to help keep the British mistletoe harvest more viable and more visible. The Festival and online trading are now well-established and most media work in recent years has been related to mistletoe conservation and management issues.
Some media resources for the current season will be listed below when available. A summary of Mistletoe Matters/Jonathan Briggs' media exposure/experience is also available, along with notes on availability. Some archived news is also listed - follow the links below or just scroll down for more information.
Current news releases relevant to mistletoe are listed here when available.
Please note that not all of these releases are issued by Mistletoe Matters - but we do issue our own news when we feel there is a story worth promoting and support third party promotions where we have an active involvement.
For general news and views each season try these resources:
The Mistletoe Pages: This website gives general background information on all mistletoe matters.
Mistletoe Surveys: A site summarising current initiatives gathering data on mistletoe, particularly looking at mistletoe management in orchards. It has recently (October 2015) being re-built for the 2015/16 season.
How to grow Mistletoe: There is advice on how to grow your own elsewhere on this website, and in our Information Sheets. Grow-Your-Own Kits are available through our sister site the English Mistletoe Shop
Archived news releases are available at the bottom of this page.
Jonathan Briggs has extensive media experience with mistletoe - contributing information to numerous mistletoe features in the daily papers and magazines each season and in most years several interviews for TV and radio news and magazine programmes.
These have included numerous appearances on BBC and ITV News, morning and evening, plus BBC's Countryfile, ITV's Countrywise, and BBC’s One Show plus Christmas editions of specialist programmes such as Grow Your Own Drugs. Most is recorded, but some of the news coverage has been live, including several early morning sessions with breakfast TV weather crews.
Radio exposure has been similar - current affairs and news on all the major networks (BBC R1, 2, 4, 5 Live etc) and countless local and commercial stations in the UK and abroad.
Radio work has also included, over the last few years, three half-hour programmes (two BBC R4 and one BBC Scotland).
More light-hearted appearances have included a Christmas-themed Ready Steady Cook (in which the mistletoe/green peppers won, of course) and informal seasonal audience participation programmes with local radio.
Some of Jonathan's own writings on mistletoe, largely for the technical press, are listed at the end of the Mistletoe Matters home page.
AVAILABILITY: Jonathan is usually happy to be interviewed and to help/contribute to media coverage, especially when given reasonable notice (asking for an interview 'tomorrow' seems to happen every year and is not usually practical!). Please note that reimbursement of expenses (travel and subsistence) is expected where appropriate. We may request a fee for significant contribution and advice.
IMAGES: A formal mistletoe picture library is still being developed, but do let us know if you have picture request. Photographs are available at commercial rates. Charitable organisations and projects may be quoted lower fees. Photos are usually sold for one-time use only and may not be re-used without permission.
This section is simply a list of a few older news releases that may still be useful for putting current stories into context. The examples available here date from the 2010-12 period and relate to Mistletoe Conservation, Sustainability of Christmas Supply and the Tenbury Wells Mistletoe Festival.
● November 2012: Tenbury Wells Mistletoe Festival: More Dough for a Season of Berry Kisses
● November 2012: Tenbury Wells Mistletoe Festival: Mistletoe Association celebrates with a local tipple
● October 2012:2: Tenbury Wells Mistletoe Festival: England’s Mistletoe Capital prepares for a season of berry kisses II
● October 2012: Tenbury Wells Mistletoe Festival: England’s Mistletoe Capital prepares for a season of berry kisses
● October 2011: Tenbury Wells Mistletoe Festival: 'Mistletoe Season celebrated by record showcase of events'
● November 2011:Tenbury Wells Mistletoe Festival: 'Britain could face Christmas without Mistletoe'
● 2011: The Mistletoe League, gathering information on mistletoe management practice
● 2010: The National Trust Mistletoe Campaign
● 2010: The 'Where do you get yours?' Mistletoe Survey
● 2010: Tenbury Wells Mistletoe Festival Promotion
● 2010: A Little Book About Mistletoe
● 2010: Mistletoe therapy opens at the Raphael Medical Centre, Kent