Derbyshire farm encourages people to donate Christmas trees to feed alpacas and build wildlife habitats

An alpaca farm in Derbyshire has urged people to recycle their Christmas trees this year to help feed their alpacas and to create new habitats.

By Tom Hardwick
Tuesday, 4th January 2022, 4:13 pm
People in Derbyshire are being asked by Brackenfield Alpacas to recycle their Christmas trees.
People in Derbyshire are being asked by Brackenfield Alpacas to recycle their Christmas trees.

Brackenfield Alpacas, near Alfreton, are hoping to encourage Derbyshire residents to be more environmentally conscious by donating their Christmas trees.

Sarah McRow, from Brackenfield Alpacas, said: “Most people tend to take their trees to the tip and chuck them, and that's probably the worst thing you can possibly do with them. In all honesty, I think this is the best way to recycle a tree - the alpacas absolutely love them.

“We’ve also planted between 2000 and 3000 trees around the farm, and we fence those trees off, and use the Christmas trees as a ‘dead hedge’- the alpacas munch on the Christmas trees and it protects the growing trees from them.

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The alpacas will eat the pines and use the trees as scratching posts before they become ‘dead hedges’.

“It’s created a bit of a wildlife haven, we’ve got hedgehogs living now in our dead hedge. Those Christmas trees become a habitat and a protection for our new trees.”

Trees have to be untreated to be donated - those that are treated to stop them shedding needles or to prevent fire, often with pesticides, cannot be eaten by the alpacas.

Sarah said the farm had already received around 30 trees, but was hopeful they would exceed last year’s total.

“Last year we had about 120 trees, and this year, we’re hoping to beat that. At the moment we have about 30 trees, but it has gone mad today - we've had so many calls, so I think we’ll easily beat the 120.”

Help the Aged are running a service in and around Derby, where people can donate £10 for them to collect their tree, which will then be given to the farm. Sarah said the farm will donate £1 to Help the Aged for any tree that gets dropped off.

People can also drop their own trees off if they are not in the catchment area for the collection service. The address for the farm is Mount Pleasant Farm, Back Lane, Brackenfield, Alfreton, DE55 6AJ.

More details can be found on the Brackenfield Alpacas Facebook page here.