Featured / General Gardening / January 20, 2023

We branched out to Northumberland Zoo and saved 150 pine trees from going to waste!

After a busy yet magical festive season, we recently closed The Garden Gates for 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 total sum of 150, 7ft pine trees with nowhere to go!

Once used for decoration, these aromatic and evergreen trees perfectly lined the walls of The Garden during our annual Winter Light Trail. Come January, our Gardening Team set out to take them down although they were uncertain of their potential use despite their excellent condition.

That was until Craig Ellis, The Alnwick Garden’s Climate Action Programme Manager took to the internet and 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. With plenty of appeals made up and down the country for discarded trees for this very reason, we found the perfect place right on our doorstep.

Successfully delivering all 150 trees to local wildlife park Northumberland Zoo, we were lucky to receive some in-action shots of the animas already enjoying our donation.

Maxine Bradley from Northumberland Zoo 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 inducted this donation, and we are thrilled to have been able to help.

A big thank you to Northumberland Zoo for these incredible pictures and we hope all the animals enjoy!