A CHARITY has thanked Wiganers for going green after residents were offered the chance to donate their unwanted Christmas trees.
Wigan and Leigh Hospice marked the end of the festive period by arranging to travel around to collect real trees and take the van-loads of spruces and pines to be transformed into mulch for the Hindley charity’s grounds.
More than 60 trees were collected from the trial areas, which included Hindley and Hindley Green, Platt Bridge, Abram and Wigan town centre, which were then turned into compost to be used in the gardens of the hospice’s state-of-the-art facility in Kildare Street.
Residents were charged £5 to have their tree taken away by the hospice’s collection teams, with the money all going directly into the specialist palliative care provided for patients suffering from terminal illnesses either at the hospice’s headquarters or in their own homes in every corner of the borough.
The recycling scheme was launched after the team at Wigan and Leigh discovered other hospices in the North West had been running tree collection for several years with considerable success.
Hospice corporate community fund-raiser Maxine Armstrong said: “We decided to test the water in selected areas and are delighted with the response.
“A number of people told us how much of a hassle it can be disposing of their old trees: often creating a headache by dropping leaves and branches all over their car. As a result many trees end up dumped by the roadside, on other people’s property, car parks or anywhere that is convenient.
“Every penny goes into patient care and the improvement in the hospice gardens will help to provide a haven of tranquillity for patients and their families.”
The shredding work was done by Peter Martin, the owner of Comprehensive Tree in Leigh, who has experience of the hospice as his mother in law was a patient there.
He said: “We are delighted to support charities and in particular Wigan and Leigh Hospice.
“Shredded trees help to protect against moisture in summer and help to prevent frost damage in winter. The shredded bark also assists in preventing weeds taking hold, and the chippings are also carried into the soil by worms, breaking up clay and acting as a natural fertiliser.”