The Alnwick Garden donates redundant Christmas trees for repurposing at Northumberland Zoo

Following the success of The Alnwick Garden’s annual light trail, the charitable organisation is donating its redundant Christmas trees to some lucky animals.

While The Alnwick Garden has been closed for essential maintenance, 200 Nordic Christmas trees from the light trail were picked up by Bedlington-based waste services, Remondis, and delivered to Northumberland Zoo on January 15.

This eco-friendly measure enables the zoo to utilise the recycled trees to provide heat, bedding and unique habitats for its animals. Any brown parts of the trees will be used for fuel to heat the zoo, particularly the bat enclosures, over the winter months.

Craig Ellis, climate action programme manager at The Alnwick Garden, said: “Once Christmas is over and done with, people often collectively repurpose their pine trees at a local recycling plant or tip but when you have over 200 of them, if they can be recycled, this benefits the environment and can be repurposed for animals and other local businesses.

“In addition, this year, to offset the carbon emitted during the 60-mile round trip pick-up and drop-off from Bedlington to Alnwick, we have offered all staff an evergreen sapling to take home and plant for carbon capture, ensuring we’re extending our reach across the region.”

Glaisters Farms, who provide the trees, also plant one for one at its base in Dumfries. The partnership between The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland Zoo and their environmentally friendly suppliers for this project, highlights the shared values around sustainable practices for a positive impact on the environment.

Northumberland Zoo manager, Maxine Bradley, said: “The volume of this donation from The Alnwick Garden is incredible and we are extremely grateful.

“They are ideal as animal enrichment for larger animals to play in (or sleep in). Once the trees are worn out, we can then burn them as fuel in our sustainable heating boiler which keeps our critically endangered bats warm, or they can be chipped for use in our gardens.

“Being able to recycle these trees aligns perfectly with our sustainable mission and it is great to have this local partnership with The Alnwick Garden who clearly have the same passion for sustainability as we do.”

Sustainability is at the core of The Alnwick Garden’s operation, as it explores innovative and ecologically responsible ways to function and educates young people about the significance of preserving ecosystems.