Discarded Christmas Trees protecting riverbanks and coastlines from erosion

Christmas Trees will be taken down in the coming days, but before you get rid of that tree, spare a thought for the environment and find out if there are any local shout outs for discarded Christmas Trees.

Around the world, discarded Christmas Trees are given a new lease of life, following the Holiday Season, by protecting riverbanks and coastlines from erosion, acting as important flood defences.

Community projects around coastlines plant discarded trees within the sand dunes every year. It serves as a way to repurpose Christmas trees, giving them an important environmental role.

Christmas trees can have a positive impact on dune environments, including protecting against coastal flooding and erosion by helping to regenerate dunes.

Using Christmas Trees to trap wind-blown sand is a traditional and proven dune management technique.

Planting Christmas Trees helps create a fence at the base of a dune and they are put in place where naturally occurring marram grass has been lost from trampling. Without marram grass, dunes can become flattened, as the wind blows in from the sea and blows the sand on the dune away. This can be a potentially big problem as dunes act as a natural sea defence in coastal areas and protect against flooding and erosion.

By binding the sand to reinforce the dunes, planting trees will help strengthen a beach’s natural defences, and so preventing hundreds of tonnes of wind-blown sand from sweeping inland each year.

When the Christmas Trees decompose, they provide a rich source of nutrients for dune grasses. And longer-term, it would also benefit local wildlife.

If you are interested in recycling your Christmas Tree, check with your local authority, environmental charities and community groups.

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea


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