A GREEN scheme to recycle Christmas trees across north and west Cumbria has raised thousands of pounds for charities in the county.

Collections were held in Carlisle, Brampton, Penrith, Wigton, Cockermouth and Keswick on Tuesday and Wednesday last week, with more than 1,200 real trees taken away by volunteers.

About £12,000 was raised for Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland.

Compared to the year before, about 250 extra trees were collected by the team, bringing in a grand total of 1,130 festive decorations.

The volunteers visited locations which the Clinical Services Team of Hospice at Home travel to to provide vital care and support to patients at the end stages of life.

Cath Coates, fundraiser for Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland, said: “We want to thank everyone who booked their trees in for collection, our amazing volunteers and business supporters, our volunteer leaflet deliverers and of course Just Helping, who made this appeal possible.

“The funds raised will enable us to support and care for local patients who wish to remain at home, with all that is familiar around them.

“All care is provided to the patient free of charge, and this vital support from the appeal will help to ensure the service is available when needed.

Cath added: “We would also like to say a huge thank you to Lloyd Motor Group for sponsoring this event, as well as Biffa, Interserve, Tech 4 Office, Special Event Tipis, Wm Armstrong Group, North West Recycling, McKnight and Son Builders, Travis Perkins, The Cumberland Building Society, Stalkers Transport, JJ Lattimers, Cubby Construction, Larch Cottage Nurseries, Stagecoach, Thomas Graham, Cartmell Shepherd, Openreach, Hart Distribution, Keswick Lions, Penrith Lions, Rotary Club of Carlisle, Dalemain, Eden Woodland Consultants, Orchard Tree Surgery and Cumbria Waste Group who provided vital support on the day.

“More than 80 people have contributed to the success of this collection, and the event simply couldn’t have happened without these generous supporters.

“We would like to thank everyone who helped make the day such a huge success.”

Elsewhere, staff and volunteers braved the elements for Hospice at Home West Cumbria in Cockermouth, as it launched the initiative for the first time. A total of115 real Christmas trees were collected, raising more than £1,300 in donations.

Stella Walsh, community fundraising team leader said: “This is a new fundraising initiative for Hospice at Home West Cumbria and we are really pleased with the success of our first year. We had a fantastic team of volunteers who worked really hard in the high winds and rain to ensure the collection went ahead as planned.”