Volunteers have been hard at work tagging Christmas trees in a project designed to raise much-needed money for a hospice and ensure that yuletide remains green.
Members of Darlington Rotary Club descended on Croft Christmas Trees for an annual initiative that raises about £15,000 for St Teresa’s Hospice.
They spent several hours tagging 1,500 trees with information on how customers can recycle at the end of the festive period.
Details will allow people to book in their tree for collection on January 7 or 8 as about 70 Rotary Club members staff a fleet of vans working in Darlington and the surrounding area for donations of £8 for a tree under 6ft and £12 if they are over.
Trees are then taken either to Darlington Council’s depot for chipping or to arborists Greenworx which chips them for use in biomass power stations.
Last year the scheme raised £15,000. Since it started 11 years ago it has realised £70,000 for the hospice, which needs to find more than £3m a year to provide free end of life care to people and support for their families in Darlington, South Durham and North Yorkshire.
When the scheme began just two vans collected about 150 trees compared to about 30 over the two days collecting more than 1,500.
St Teresa’s Hospice marketing manager John Paul Stabler said: “Once Christmas is over we can collect people’s trees so there’s no need for them to fill their cars with pine needles. As well as raising much-needed funds for the hospice, the trees are recycled to provide either mulch for paths and gardens or green energy. So it’s convenient and very green.
“This is an excellent and highly appreciated community service project generating much needed funds for our hospice.”
To register a tree, visit https://www.darlingtonhospice.org.uk/christmas-tree-collection/, or phone 01325 254321.