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Christmas trees help protect and rebuild sand dunes

NORTH Wirral Coastal Rangers are using over 60 leftover Christmas trees to rebuild sand dunes.

The rangers are working with volunteers to plant discarded Christmas trees to stabilise the dunes between Leasowe Bay and the Gunsite area of North Wirral Coastal Park.

The project was launched in 2015 to combat the problem of sand dune erosion; the concrete sea defences on the coast often block windblown sand, preventing it from settling naturally into sand dunes.

Rangers are solving the problem by using old Christmas trees to catch and trap sand blowing in from the beach. Over the space of a few years, the trees are eventually buried and form artificial dune shapes, which encourages Marram and Lyme grasses to take root.

The sand dunes form a natural defence against sea winds and are home to a variety of wildlife species including sand lizards and colourful burnet moths.

Ranger Dave Stevenson for North Wirral Coastal Park, said: “We have been working with a great group of volunteers. We started work in the middle of January, when the trees started to come in, and have so far used around 60 trees – even more than last year”

“The trees that were put in last year are still there. They take a number of years to rot down causing no damage to the dunes and have managed to trap almost a metre of sand. It doesn’t sound much in a year but this has worked really well, and we’re hoping for further success next year”

Cllr Bernie Mooney, Wirral’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “It’s great that waste Christmas trees can be recycled and benefit Wirral’s beautiful coastline. The project manages to preserve natural beauty and give a helping hand to animal habitats. Thanks to the fantastic support of the Coastal Park’s dedicated volunteers, we have had two very successful years protecting the sand dunes and will be continuing next year.”