Recycle your Christmas Tree at Formby

Two ladies and a dog creating dune fences at Formby using recycled Christmas trees

Our Rangers are asking people to bring their used real Christmas trees down to Formby so they can be used to help protect our internationally important sand dunes.

Over the past decade National Trust staff and hundreds of volunteers have dug in over 15,000 recycled Christmas trees to create fences across the sand dunes. These fences have been placed in areas where the naturally occurring Marram Grass has been lost due to trampling. When the Marram grass is lost the sand dune becomes bare and this means that when the wind blows in from the sea the sand on the dune blows away and the dunes become flattened. This is a serious problem as not only does this mean that important sand dune habitat is lost but it also compromises the dunes as a natural sea defence for Formby. The Christmas tree dune fences help to mitigate this damage by mimicking the action of the Marram grass, catching the sand blown on to the dunes from the beach and also dissipating the power of the wind as it blows across the surface of the dunes. Over time the trees become buried which helps to build up the dunes and they also help to partly stabilise the surface of the dunes which often allows the Marram grass to take hold again naturally.

" “This is a great way to recycle your Christmas tree. Dune fences help the dunes to build up and encourage the growth of Marram Grass which in turn is good for wildlife and good for natural coastal protection”"
- Andrew Brockbank, National Trust Countryside Manager for Formby
This year we are hoping to dig in a further 2,500 recycled trees, enough to create ½ mile of dune fence, and this is where you can play your part. We are asking people to bring their used real Christmas tree along to the National Trust car park on Victoria Road any day between 4th and 17th January between 9am and 3.30pm. Trees up to about 5ft are the best height for the fences. Sefton Coast and Countryside Service will not be accepting Christmas trees at Lifeboat Road this year so they would like to encourage anyone who has taken their tree to Lifeboat Road in previous years to donate their tree to the National Trust instead.