An appeal for old Christmas trees to help reduce coastal erosion of one of Fife’s most picturesque beaches, has proved an overwhelming success.
Volunteers spent the weekend positioning more than 900 donated trees into position in the sand dunes along St Andrews’ West Beach, double the number that were received last year.
Video of the volunteers at work is above this article.
The initiative, set up by Fife Coast and Countryside Trust, use the tired old timber to prevent crater erosion, a move that is not only very effective and cost free, but also 100% environmentally friendly.
And despite having to abandon Saturday’s efforts due to the severe weather conditions battering most of Fife, scores of volunteers came together yesterday to make light work of the task of getting the trees onto the sands.
Countryside Trust Ranger Ranald Strachan, said the scheme also had the benefit of reducing the number of discarded left after the Christmas festivities going into landfill.
He added: “We’ve been astounded by the number of trees we’ve received this year which eclipsed last year’s donations by more than double the amount which is fantastic.
“The new dunes for old trees project has now been in place for four years.
“The scheme was a huge success and the trees helped prevent further erosion of the craters from high winds, which are such a frequent occurrence along the Fife coastline.
“As well as benefiting the sand dunes, it also limits waste going to landfill and provides the donor with an extra opportunity to make a lasting gift out of their old tree which contributes to environmental restoration.”
Lib Dem Councillor Jane Ann Liston was one of those only too willing to support the efforts.
“They’ve been doing this now for four years and long may they continue, it’s a fantastic initiative,” she said.
“With Saturday being such a wash out it was there doubly important that I came with so many others to lend a hand.
“What better way to get around that inevitable problem many have after the festivities of what to do with your Christmas tree, as long as people remember to remove the baubles first, of course.
“A couple of decorations were indeed found on a couple of the trees and saved so even they will be recycled, which gave everyone a laugh.”
The trees will now be covered in sand to help prevent ‘blow out’ of sand in the hollow of the dunes.
It’s hoped in time the initiative will play a major part in the complete restoration of the dunes at West Sands.