East Devon’s recycled festive trees make for chipper playtimes in Cranbrook

Recycled chippings from thousands of festive trees thrown out from East Devon homes will benefit a pupils’ mud kitchen and forest school in Cranbrook.

[For eco-warriors there’s an even greener way of disposing of the Christmas tree – Just eat it!  Pickled veg, herb tea, vinegar, even flavoured gin … an organic tree has many uses once the baubles are banished. Something for next year perhaps? – Owl]


More than 1,600 Christmas trees collected by the district council at the end of the festive season have been chipped and returned to the ground, or used to benefit a host of outdoor projects.

St Martin’s Primary School, in Cranbrook, recently took delivery of a truck of festive pine tree chippings for the upkeep of outdoor pathways, to protect tree roots, suppress weed growth, and clean-up muddy play areas.

An EDDC spokesperson said: “These chippings will now be used by the school and students in their forest school for a variety of purposes, including maintaining pathways, to protect tree roots and to retain moisture in the soil and suppress weed growth.”

They added: “The students’ mud kitchen also received a helping of chippings to improve the ground around the playground – this will help the children to avoid getting as muddy at break times.”

The real trees – thrown out after the festive season – were collected by EDDC StreetScene workers from drop-off points across East Devon from early January.

A total of 1,699 trees were picked up 245 from Seaton, 70 in Axminster, Honiton threw out 140, Ottery 205 and Sidmouth 235.

In Budleigh Salterton EDDC picked up 188 trees, 311 from Exmouth, 200 in Cranbrook and 105 from the village of Broadclyst.

Tom Wood, EDDC StreetScene operations manager, said: “Our tree team, supported by operational teams have worked really hard to process an enormous number of Christmas trees in a short space of time.

“It’s really pleasing to see these trees being recycled and put back into the ground across the district to benefit local eco-systems and the environment.”

EDDC said the donations of wood chippings to St Martin’s Primary School was made as part of an ongoing partnership with the EDDC StreetScene team.

Chippings from trees in previous years has helped to slow spread of Ash Dieback within the school’s estate, EDDC said.

In Exmouth, the council workers stepped in to help the Rotary Club take down the town’s main Christmas tree.

A collection by the Rotary Club around the tree in the town’s Magnolia Centre raised more than £1,000 for Exmouth Open Door Centre.

The Rotary Club of Exmouth praised the ‘kindness and support’ of the EDDC StreetScene staff for helping ‘with such good grace at short notice’.

East Devon: Plans are in the pipeline for a new cycle and walk route to connect Cranbrook to Exeter city centre