Unusual ‘dummy tree’ takes root in Long Stratton

It is a Scandinavian tradition that aims to prize dummies off scores of toddlers.

Now an unusual tree has taken root in a south Norfolk village, which has been devised by the owner of a new shop.

A Nummy Tree - a place for children to say goodbye to their dummies - was launched in Long Stratton this week, which are more commonly found in Norway.

The artificial purple tree was the brainchild of mother-of-three Oddhild Harman, who opened the Lemonplum children's clothes shop at an industrial unit off Wellesley Road in May.

Nordic folklore says that children who place their dummies on the nummy tree will see them collected by trolls and recycled into new toys by Santa's elves for Christmas.

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Mrs Harman, who was born and raised in Norway, said that every child who relinquishes his or her dummy will receive a special certificate to recognise their bravery.

The 35-year-old, who lives in Long Stratton, said the tree had received one decoration so far and the idea was beginning to capture the imagination of locals.

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'There are lots of nummy trees in Norway and I thought to take it here. I know that it is really hard for parents to get them to give them [dummies] up and if we make a fuss of them and feel that it is going to a better place and sell them a story, they will hopefully give it up less reluctantly,' she said.

The 'nearly new' clothes shop with a Scandinavian feel, opened on May 17 on Norwegian Independence Day.

Mrs Harman said she realised the need for affordable, good quality clothes for children in the current economic climate, which was already attracting customers across Norfolk.

'I have three young kids and I know what it is like to buy new things you don't really need and by buying used things you save so much by getting nearly new things at a fraction of the price. You can get more stuff in a warehouse and we have laid it out like a boutique and it is quite trendy,' she said.

For more information, visit www.lemonplumshop.co.uk

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