Santa's snowy helper: Rare reindeer puts garden centre visitors in the mood for a magical white Christmas

-Six-month-old baby reindeer delights children with snow-coloured fur
-Chance of an all-white baby being born are 'one in 10,000'

By Kerry Mcqueeney

Standing out: Snowy peering out from behind fir trees. The white-nosed reindeer is proving quite a draw ay Victoria Farm near Whitby

Peering out from between the evergreens, Snowy the baby reindeer has been putting a garden centre and its customers in the mood for a real white Christmas.

The all-white - and extremely rare - reindeer has been enchanting children with her snow-coloured fur at the Victoria Farm Garden Centre in Whitby, North Yorkshire, lending a mythical feel to the festive season.

The six-month-old baby was born in May and, due to a freak genetic mutation, is completely white. However she is not thought to be an albino due to the absence of red eyes.

One of the garden centre's owners said he couldn't believe it when they discovered her in the fields of their farm, which has been breeding reindeer for years.

Mark Noble, 44, added: 'The chances of a snow white reindeer being born is roughly one in 10,000.

'We feel very lucky to have Snowy, and we were delighted when we discovered her in one of the fields on our farm.

'We have bred reindeer for years, but have never known anything like this to have happened before.

'We keep them out in the fields over summer but then bring them into the garden centre for the Christmas period.

'Our visitors absolutely love her. She is the cutest little thing and she has made us all very happy.

All-white: Snowy stands out from the crowd compared with the more conventionally-coloured grey reindeer

'The kids that come think she is fantastic.'

Children could be heard shrieking in delight as they caught their first glimpse of the reindeer today, but - due to the naturally shy nature of the animals - they were unable to stroke Snowy.

While Snowy's name might be apt, it is only a temporary moniker and the public has the opportunity to choose a new one.

Mark added: 'We are calling her Snowy for now but are asking the public to get in touch if they can think of a better name.'

Meanwhile, canine helpers for a charity in Yorkshire have also been pulling the crowds - as well as a heavy load.

Pulling power: Newfoundland Dylan heaves Christmas trees from the forest to a customer's car at Dalby, near Pickering

The Newfoundland dogs have been helping to deliver Christmas trees in festive style at Dalby, near Pickering.

The dogs have been pulling wooden carts carrying Christmas trees from the nearby forest and bringing them to customers' cars, as part of a special fund-raising project.

Coordinated by the dog owners' charity Aqua Nova Bears, the Newfoundlands - which belong to to the organisation's members - have become Santa's little helpers to raise money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance service.

Newfoundlands, which can weigh up to 12 stone, are known for their large size, strength, loyalty and calm dispositions.

They were originally bred by fisherman as working dogs in the Dominion of Newfoundland - now a part of Canada - but it was soon discovered they made excellent water rescue dogs because of their natural swimming skills, muscular build, webbed feet and thick double coat.

Wheely helpful: The Newfoundlands belong to the members of dog owners charity Aqua Nova Bears

Fundraisers: The Christmas promotion will help raise much-needed cash for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance service



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