After a busy yet magical festive season, we recently closed The Garden’s Gates for annual and essential Winter Maintenance. Usually this entails the takedown of thousands of Christmas lights and The Grand Cascade scrubbed from top to bottom! This year, however, also saw a grand total of 150 pine trees with nowhere to go!
Once used for decoration, these aromatic and evergreen trees perfectly lined the walls of The Alnwick Garden during our annual Winter Light Trail. Come January, our Gardening Team set out to take them down uncertain of their potential use.
That was until Craig Ellis, The Alnwick Garden’s Climate Action Programme Manager delightfully discovered they could have a second lease of life in an unexpected way! Remarkably, the Christmas Trees that we excitedly haul into our homes every year make excellent natural food and bedding for various animals and with various appeals made up and down the country, we found the perfect place right on our door step.
Successfully delivering all 150 trees to Northumberland Zoo we were lucky to receive some in-action shots of the animas already enjoying our donation. Maxine Bradley stated ‘Christmas Trees make great enrichment for various species; they are particularly fragrant which some animals love and they are tasty to animals like our tree porcupines. They also make great objects for keepers to hide food in, which makes feed time a bit more challenging’
The Pine Tree journey doesn’t stop there with Maxine adding ‘Once all of the excitement has worn off, we then chip these trees for bedding around planted areas as well as for fuel in our biomass boiler that heats our bat house’
The Alnwick Garden abides by a set of values which include collaboration, accountability and working whilst being climate conscious. Knowing that we can all have small part in making a big difference is how we made this donation and we are thrilled to have been able to help.
This blog was originally uploaded in January 2023 but has been re-uploaded March 2023