You'll remember from last month that we were due to embark on an exciting new initiative to retrieve and recycle the plastic tree tubes that are used to aid the growth of our newly-planted woodlands.

We're delighted to report that the first collection day at Shocott Spring last week was a huge success, and we've now produced our first bales ready to be recycled.

We started planting at Shocott in 2005 (completing it in early 2011) and amongst the 52 hectares of woodland created at the site is the 1 millionth tree planted by our Forest of Marston Vale team. The tree tubes protected the young trees from weather and wildlife, but became redundant once the trees were more established and outgrew the casing, leaving the tube either on the trees or on the woodland floor.

Here you can see our team of hardworking volunteers - lead by Jane our Ranger - retrieving and sorting the tree guards on-site, and readying them for processing:


It was then all hands on-deck to load the trailer with as many bags as possible to transport back to the Forest Centre for baling, with John the Facilities Manager at the helm of our compression machine:

In total 16 bags were collected and compacted to make 4 bales. We'll now transport these bales - along with the white polypropylene bags used for storage - to the recycling facility nearby. At roughly 80kg each we hope to receive a combined rebate for these bales which will cover the cost of fuel and processing and hopefully a small profit for the Trust. More crucially, though, all of these products will now be recycled and not go into land fill.